Sources of Schedule Risk in Complex System Development
Author(s)Browning, Tyson R.
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From one perspective, developing complex systems is an exercise in uncertainty reduction and risk management. In this article I first organize the principle sources of risk in product development into five categories: market risk, product performance risk, technology risk, development cost risk, and schedule risk. Second, I synthesize research findings from literature and interviews with experienced product development managers and system engineers at a major aerospace company regarding the sources of uncertainty underlying one of these categories, schedule risk. Relationships between these sources of schedule uncertainty are shown using a causal framework. The goal of this preliminary work is to highlight areas for increased attention in planning and management processes, while providing a systems view of the effects of certain actions.
complex systems, product development (PD), uncertainty, risk
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