Using Pre-Milestone B Data to Predict Schedule Duration for Defense Acquisition Programs
Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics
Accurately predicting a realistic schedule for a defense acquisition program is a difficult challenge considering the inherent risk and uncertainties present in the early stages of a program. Through the application of multiple regression modeling, we provide the program manager with a statistical model that predicts schedule duration from official program initiation, which occurs at Milestone B, to the initial operational capability of the programs deliverable system. Our model explains 42.9% of the variation in schedule duration across historical data from a sample of 56 defense programs from all military services. Statistically significant predictor variables include whether a program is a new effort or modification to an existing program, the year of Milestone B start as it relates to changes in defense acquisition reform policy, and the amount of raw funding (adjusted for inflation) prior to Milestone B for a program. Our final and strongest predictor variable, percentage of the total RDT&E (Research Development Test and Evaluation) funding profile allocated at Milestone B, indicates that increased percentage of RDT&E funding for pre-Milestone B technology risk reduction may shorten a programs schedule duration to initial operational capability.
Captain Christopher A. Jimenez is a cost analyst at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency in the Washington, DC area. Captain Jimenez graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from the United States Air Force Academy in 2011, and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Cost Analysis from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 2016.
Dr. Edward D. White is a Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He received his M.A.S. from The Ohio State University and his Ph.D. in Statistics from Texas A&M University. His primary research interests include statistical modeling, simulation, and data analytics.
Captain Gregory E. Brown is the Chief of Cost Analysis, Special Operations Forces & Personnel Recovery Division, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC). He received a B.A. in Economics and B.S. in Corporate Finance from Colorado State University, and a M.S. in Cost Analysis from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Dr. Jonathan D. Ritschel is an assistant professor of cost analysis in the Department of Systems Engineering and Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). He received his B.B.A. in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame, his M.S. in Cost Analysis from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. Dr. Ritschel’s research interests include public choice, the effects of acquisition reforms on cost growth in DoD weapon systems, research and development cost estimation, and economic institutional analysis.
Lieutenant Colonel Brandon M. Lucas currently serves as an assistant professor and Director of the Graduate Cost Analysis Program at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He has completed a M.S. in Cost Analysis and a Ph.D. in Economics. He has served in the budget, cost, and ﬁnance communities at base, center, and Air Staff levels.
Michael J. Seibel retired as a senior cost analyst in the Cost Division of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. During his 42-year career he lead or participated in numerous independent cost estimates, source selection cost panels, special studies, and program ofﬁce support exercises. He was also very active in the cost research area. He holds an M.S. in Social and Applied Economics from Wright State University and is an ICEAA member.