Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Sonia E. Leach, PhD


The United States Government requires every program manager in the Department of Defense to document program goals prior to the initiation of an acquisition program. According to the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (2005), an Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) satisfies this requirement. Updating the APB, also referred to as re-baselining, may also be required during the execution of an acquisition program. Although guidance is available for the initial production of a program baseline, scarce information on the guidance and theoretical purpose of a program re-baseline exists. The research presented in this thesis investigated the purpose and effectiveness of program re-baselines through interviews with 27 program managers from the acquisition community. An analysis of the data collected during the interviews, combined with an extensive review of the current literature, led to recommendations in the areas of improved guidance, practice, and education. Specifically, it was revealed that the purpose of re-baselining varies depending on an individual's past experiences with a re-baseline activity. In addition, this research revealed that a majority of program managers have participated in a program re-baseline during their careers, which magnifies the importance of clarifying the expectations and objectives of program re-baselines for those entering the acquisition profession. The following interview questions were asked: What is the theoretical objective of a program re-baseline?; What is considered a successful program re-baseline?; Describe any program re-baseline guidance you have received; Is the program re-baseline process effective?; Does the outcome of the re-baseline process justify the effort?; In your experience, what caused a program to re-baseline?; Are there issues relating to the re-baseline process?; and Give recommendations for improving the re-baseline process.

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DTIC Accession Number