Stability Properties in Department of Defense Contracts: Answering the Controversy

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2015


Delineating where stability occurs in a contract provides the window of opportunity for procurement officials to positively affect cost and schedule outcomes. While the concept of a Cost Performance Index (CPI) “stability rule” has been routinely cited by Earned Value Management (EVM) authors since the early 1990’s, more recent research questions the veracity of this stability rule. This paper resolves the controversy by demonstrating that the definition of stability matters. We find a morphing of the stability definition over time, with three separate definitions permeating the literature. Next, an analysis of Department of Defense contracts for both cost and schedule stability properties finds that the veracity of the stability rule is intricately tied to the definition used.


Copyright © 2015 by PrAcademics Press, Publisher Emerald Publishing Limited

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Journal of Public Procurement

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