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Predicting Program Success Not Childs Play

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Journal Article

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Defense Acquisition University Fort Belvoir United States

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Whenever I deal with stakeholders, I am reminded of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors that I played as a child. If youre not familiar with the game, two players, on the count of three, put forth a hand in a symbol representing a rock, paper or scissors. The winner of the round is determined by the relationship between the two factors Paper covers rock, so paper wins rock breaks scissors, so rock wins or scissors cut paper, so scissors win. When I was young, the winner got to punch the loser in the arm or give a two-finger wet slap. Both consequences were harmless but somewhat painful.One could argue that there is a forecasting aspect of the game based on the players last three to five throwsi.e., past performance. To win continuously, a player has to guess what symbol the other player will throw and then throw the appropriate winning symbol. It is difficult to predict because every throw has a winner or loser based solely on the situation at the time, and the situation is dynamic.

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