29th May 2019

Knowledge Type

Case study Technical paper


, US Government Accountability Office

Major Project


Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Leadership teams Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients SME

NASA: Assessment of Major Projects 2019


This report provides US Government Accountability Office (GAO) annual snapshot of how well NASA is planning and executing its major acquisition projects. GAO previously found that, as of February 2018, the cost and schedule performance of major projects was deteriorating, with 9 of 17 projects in development reporting cost or schedule growth. GAO also found that NASA was likely to continue to see cost and schedule growth, as new, large projects were entering the portfolio while others were taking longer to launch than planned.

Nineteen assessments describe the challenges the GAO identified, as well as challenges that we have identified in the past. On the first page, the project profile presents the standard information listed above. On the second page of the assessment, they provide an analysis of the project challenges, and outline the extent to which each project faces cost, schedule, or performance risks because of these challenges, if applicable. Two of the assessments do not provide an in-depth review of program challenges because the projects had few, if any, challenges to report. The information presented in these assessments was obtained from NASA documentation, answers to the GAO questionnaire by NASA officials, interviews with project staff, and includes an analysis of project cost and schedule information. NASA project offices were provided an opportunity to review drafts of the assessments prior to their inclusion in the final product, and the projects provided both technical corrections and more general comments.