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(CSC-816) Accepted Standards and Emerging Trends in Over Target Baseline (OTB) Contracts

Primary Author: Simon Dekker

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Experience-Based
Venue: 2012 AACE International Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, USA

Abstract: Over Target Baseline (OTB) projects or programs are those that have run significantly over cost and require formal reprogramming – essentially a complete re-planning of the project – in order to help the contractor regain management control over the effort. The OTB process has been well documented and become an established part of Earned Value Management practice. Much of the literature-to-date has focused on OTBs from the contractor perspective, including the steps to take in order to propose and implement an OTB, and the proper channels and occasions for engaging the customer in the process. But effective OTB implementation is a two-way street. The customer also must take an active role in the OTB process, examining variables such as mission need, overall strategic objectives, and prevailing business conditions, when determining if a request for OTB reprogramming should be granted, or if there exist other potential alternatives to pursue. Recent research suggests that OTBs, as currently implemented, have little effect on subsequent project performance, so new questions and criteria for engaging OTBs are now beginning to emerge.