Rooney, Warren William (2016-12). Mitigating Schedule Overruns Caused by Misinterpretation. Master's Thesis.
Many large-scale, complex engineering systems experience significant cost and schedule overruns during their developments. There are many factors that contribute to these overruns, including increased system complexity, task rework, and the inability to exhaustively test all states and configurations of a given system, which often leads to redesign efforts. In this work, we focus specifically on task rework and its impact on project schedule overruns. We demonstrate that heavier tail phenomena present in large-scale program development duration can be caused by task rework. Within this context, we hypothesize one cause of task rework in a project development effort. We develop a computational framework for estimating the information content of a set of task instructions and the expected time to task completion. We then compare the computational results to experimental data collected for the same set of instructions to validate the model for constructing a paper airplane. This reveals that heavier tailed duration phenomena present in many large-scale project development efforts can arise due to task rework caused by misinterpretation.