Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael J. Hicks, PhD


The growth in the acquisition cycle time of large defense systems from what was planned (i.e., schedule growth) creates several issues for defense acquisition managers and policy makers. These issues include increased likelihoods of cancellations, changes in requirements, and delays in the fielding of improved combat capabilities and replacements for legacy systems, which have resulted in further cost and schedule growth. As a result, Congress, the DoD, and the individual military services implemented several major reforms to address the cost and schedule growth of weapon systems. This research presents an empirical model of schedule growth to evaluate the impact of acquisition reform efforts, defense budget changes, unexpected inflation, and major contingency operations (war) on schedule growth of major weapon systems. A fixed-effects panel regression model was utilized to describe the schedule performance (using earned value data) of the major weapon system programs managed by the Army, Air Force, and Navy from 1980 to 2002. This research found that unexpected inflation results in increased schedule growth. In addition, the 2000 revision of the DoD 5000 series accounted for a reduction in schedule growth. The other examined acquisition reforms—the Packard Commission of 1986 and the 1993-1996 reform efforts [e.g., the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996]—were not correlated with schedule growth. This lack of a relationship suggests these reforms were not fully internalized into the Department of Defense’s acquisition process and appear to have not been successful at limiting schedule growth.

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DTIC Accession Number