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Error Cost Escalation Through the Project Life Cycle
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Author and Affiliation:
Stecklein, Jonette M.(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Dabney, Jim(Houston Univ.-Clear Lake, Houston, TX, United States)
Dick, Brandon(Boeing Co., Houston, TX, United States)
Haskins, Bill(Boeing Co., Houston, TX, United States)
Lovell, Randy(Northrop Grumman Corp., United States)
Moroney, Gregory(Wyle Labs., Inc., Houston, TX, United States)
Abstract: It is well known that the costs to fix errors increase as the project matures, but how fast do those costs build? A study was performed to determine the relative cost of fixing errors discovered during various phases of a project life cycle. This study used three approaches to determine the relative costs: the bottom-up cost method, the total cost breakdown method, and the top-down hypothetical project method. The approaches and results described in this paper presume development of a hardware/software system having project characteristics similar to those used in the development of a large, complex spacecraft, a military aircraft, or a small communications satellite. The results show the degree to which costs escalate, as errors are discovered and fixed at later and later phases in the project life cycle. If the cost of fixing a requirements error discovered during the requirements phase is defined to be 1 unit, the cost to fix that error if found during the design phase increases to 3 - 8 units; at the manufacturing/build phase, the cost to fix the error is 7 - 16 units; at the integration and test phase, the cost to fix the error becomes 21 - 78 units; and at the operations phase, the cost to fix the requirements error ranged from 29 units to more than 1500 units
Publication Date: Jun 19, 2004
Document ID:
(Acquired Oct 28, 2010)
Report/Patent Number: JSC-CN-8435
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: 14th Annual International Symposium; 19-24 Jun. 2004; Toulouse; France
Meeting Sponsor: International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Foundation; San Diego, CA, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Organization Source: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 11p; In English; Original contains black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
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