Application of a technique for research and development program evaluation. (English) Zbl 1255.90070

Summary: This paper describes the development and application of a technique for measuring and controlling development progress for the Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile program, Special Projects Office, Bureau of Ordnance, U.S. Navy. Project PERT (Program Evaluation Research Task) was set up to develop, test, and implement a methodology for providing management with integrated and quantitative evaluation of (a) progress to date and the outlook for accomplishing the objectives of the FBM program, (b) validity of established plans and schedules for accomplishing the program objectives, and (c) effects of changes proposed in established plans. In the PERT model, the R and D program is characterized as a network of interrelated events to be achieved in proper ordered sequence. Basic data for the analysis consists of elapsed time estimates for activities which connect dependent events in the network. The time estimates are obtained from responsible technical persons and are subsequently expressed in probability terms. This model is described. Test of the model on a specific component, design of a management control system properly related to existing management systems, reduction to the NORC computer, difficulties in implementation and preliminary results to date are discussed. Limitations of the model, and possible refinements and use of the computer model for testing schedules and for management experimentation in resource and performance tradeoffs are described.


90B50 Management decision making, including multiple objectives
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