Cost and schedule overruns ofter occur for commercial and military projects that involve important technical advances. Such results are frequently condemned as reflecting poor planning or general mismanagement, but in many cases that conclusion is unrealistic. This article describes the critical role of uncertainty stemming from a legitimate urgency to capitalize on new technology. Explicit recognition of the uncertainties and urgency is essential to realistic estimates of costs and delivery performance, and to development of management strategies that can hold their impact within reasonable bounds. New estimating techniques have been developed for this purpose and are reported by the authors.
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