Why Programs Die: The Stand-Off Target Acquisition System (SOTAS) Case Study
Research rept. Aug 1992-Apr 1993
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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This paper looks at a real DoD weapons system that was terminated by Congress in 1981. The paper reviews the origins of the program, and why it was killed. The authors research shows that a number of mistakes were made, both by the Government and Motorola, the prime contractor. The author cites specific mistakes made by the Army Program Office, including acceptance of requirements from OSD that were not necessary, mistakes made by the source selection board in failing to adequately consider the difficulty in jumping from a component supplier to a systems integrator, and a poor bidding strategy by the contractor which made substantial overruns inevitable. The paper concludes with lessons learned for program managers, acquisition personnel and contractors in how to avoid the pitfalls that doomed the SOTAS program.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies