JCL Journey: A Look into NASA’s Joint Cost and Schedule Confidence Level Policy
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NASA has been implementing Joint Cost and Schedule Confidence Level (JCL) since 2009. JCL policy, as written in NPR 7120.5E, states that projects are required to perform a JCL with the intent that they demonstrate a 70% probability that cost will be equal to or less than the targeted cost and schedule will be equal to or less than the targeted schedule date. This 70% confidence policy is partially based on the concept of “the portfolio effect” - which implies that decision makers can fund projects at lower confidence levels while achieving higher confidence levels from an Agency or Program viewpoint. Recent investigation, sponsored by the Office of Evaluation and performed by the Aerospace Corporation, builds on this concept and further investigates the portfolio effect by parametrically examining the effects of funding projects at different confidence levels with respect to varying portfolio assumptions.
In this Virtual Project Management Challenge, the presenter will provide an overview of JCL - covering the policy, explaining what JCL is, and providing the rationale for the policy. The presenter will also illuminate, utilizing concepts such as risk compensation and portfolio management, recent results of how a program’s portfolio composition should influence JCL expectations of a project.