Overcoming the 90% Syndrome: Iteration Management in Concurrent Development Projects

Ford, N.D., and J. D. Sterman


Successfully implementing concurrent development to reduce cycle time has proven difficult due to unanticipated interactions of process constraints and managerial decision making. 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 the common propensity of workers to conceal required changes from other development team members aggravate the syndrome and degrade schedule performance. We explore iteration management policies to improve performance in concurrent development projects.

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