Decision-Making in the Political and Technical Environments
Author(s)Broniatowski, David Andre; Wiegel, Annalisa L.
Mutual misunderstanding between decision-makers in the political and technical environment leads to programs that experience cost overruns, schedule delays and, often, cancellation. This paper compares and contrasts the determinants of decision-making in the technical and political realms, with the intention of demonstrating how these decisions translate to cost, schedule and performance parameters. Studies of those elements that are most salient to the policy maker are informed by the political science literature. In particular, studies of administrative, bureaucratic and Congressional decision-making are instructive in determining how an engineering system interacts with the political realm. So as to lend concreteness to this analysis, we focus on NASA’s interactions with Congress surrounding the Vision for Space Exploration, announced by President Bush on January 14th, 2004.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2006-20