The Department of Defense (DoD) cost estimating methodology currently employs T. P. Wrights 75-plus-year-old learning curve formula. The goal of this research was to examine alternative learning curve models and determine if a more reliable and valid cost estimation method exists, which could be incorporated within the DoD acquisition environment. This study tested three alternative learning models (the Stanford-B model, DeJong's learning formula, and the S-Curve model) to compare predicted against actual costs for the F-15 A-E jet fighter platform. The results indicate that the S-Curve and DeJong models offer improvement over current estimation techniques, but more importantly and unexpectedly highlight the importance of incompressibility (the amount of a process that is automated) in learning curve estimating.
Defense Acquisition Research Journal
Moore, J. R., Elshaw, J. J., Badiru, A. B., & Ritcschel, J. D. (2015). Acquisition Challenge: The Importance of Incompressibility in Comparing Learning Curve Models. Defense Acquisition Research Journal, 22(4), 416–449.