An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Professionalism of Defense Acquisition Program Managers and Program Outcomes
Keith F. Snider
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This paper documents a research project to examine the relationship between major defense program managers'' attributes and the outcomes of their programs. It develops a model based on the research hypothesis that program manager (PM) professionalism is positively correlated with program outcomes. Dependent variables consist of metrics, such as cost variance, that indicate program outcomes. Independent variables consist of PM attributes, such as tenure duration, along with several extraneous variables, such as the program commodity (e.g., ships, aircraft). Data were obtained from Selected Acquisition Reports for major defense acquisition programs for the years 1997''2010. Expert interviews were recorded and used to frame various aspects of the analysis and conclusions. No significant correlation was found between any of the independent variables and program outcomes. The findings suggest that (1) further research is needed to determine good predictors of program outcomes; (2) policy-makers should look to sources other than the PM as a cause of poor outcomes; and (3) a contingency approach to PM career management is appropriate.
Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-11-200
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