Overcoming the 90% syndrome: Iteration management in concurrent development projects Academic Article uri icon


  • Successfully implementing concurrent development to reduce cycle time has proven difficult due to unanticipated iterations. We develop a dynamic project model that explicitly models these interactions to investigate the causes of the 90% syndrome, a common form of schedule failure in concurrent development. We find that increasing concurrence and common managerial responses to schedule pressure aggravate the syndrome and degrade schedule performance and project quality. We show how understanding of and policies to avoid the 90% syndrome require integration of the technical attributes of the project, the flows of information among participants, and the behavioral decision-making heuristics participants use to respond to unanticipated problems and perturbations.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Ford, D. N., & Sterman, J. D.

citation count

  • 75

complete list of authors

  • Ford, DN||Sterman, JD

publication date

  • January 2003