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Understanding the Results of an Integrated Cost/Schedule Risk Analysis

Risk I Track



The recent rise of integrated risk analyses methods has created a new opportunity for complex projects to understand the dynamic inter-relationship of cost, schedule, and risk. NASA has been implementing Joint Confidence Level (JCL) analysis of cost, schedule, and risk for all major projects since 2009 in an attempt to proceduralize and codify the requirements for an integrated risk analysis product.
Since the method of integrated risk analysis is itself new, the visualization of analysis results has been challenging. Starting with the simple X-Y scatter plot, this paper will explain how to understand the results of an integrated cost/schedule risk analysis using illustrative examples. The authors will also propose new advanced methods for visualizing results, and provide evidence of the valuable insight that can be gained from conducting an integrated cost/schedule risk analysis.


James Johnson
Mr. Johnson is responsible for providing Cost Estimates and Assessments, Schedule Estimates and Assessments, Risk Analyses, and Joint Cost Schedule Risk Analysis for the Cost Analysis Division (CAD) at NASA Headquarters. His current responsibilities include completing cost estimates, schedule estimates, and risk assessments for various NASA Programs and Projects at NASA.
His work at NASA HQ includes supporting high level Agency studies, providing support and consultation to projects, and developing policy and guidance for the Agency in the areas of cost, schedule, and risk assessments. While supporting NASA, James has received multiple individual and team awards recognizing his contributions and performance as an analyst. This includes a recent NASA HQ Honors Team Award for JCL Tool Development with team members from Tecolote Research and Booz Allen Hamilton. James has presented and defended numerous cost estimates of government programs that have ranged in cost from less than $50M, to greater than $100B. James has significant experience in all primary methods of estimating cost and schedule including parametrics, analogy, and bottoms-up. He is also experienced in the areas of risk analysis and assessment to support the development of cost and schedule risk models. James has developed, and contributed to the development of, multiple Joint Confidence Level (JCL) models, including some of the first JCL models for NASA that he then presented to the NASA Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin.

Darren Elliott