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Stability properties in department of defense contracts: Answering the controversy

Jacob L. Petter (Air Force Cost Analysis Agency)
Jonathan D. Ritschel (Department of Systems Engineering and Management, the Air Force Institute of Technology.)
Edward D. White (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Air Force Institute of Technology.)

Journal of Public Procurement

ISSN: 1535-0118

Article publication date: 1 March 2015



Delineating where stability occurs in a contract provides the window of opportunity for procurement officials to positively affect cost and schedule outcomes. While the concept of a Cost Performance Index (CPI) "stability rule" has been routinely cited by Earned Value Management (EVM) authors since the early 1990's, more recent research questions the veracity of this stability rule. This paper resolves the controversy by demonstrating that the definition of stability matters. We find a morphing of the stability definition over time, with three separate definitions permeating the literature. Next, an analysis of Department of Defense contracts for both cost and schedule stability properties finds that the veracity of the stability rule is intricately tied to the definition used.


Petter, J.L., Ritschel, J.D. and White, E.D. (2015), "Stability properties in department of defense contracts: Answering the controversy", Journal of Public Procurement, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 341-364.



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