DoD Program Cancellation

DoD Program Cancellation


Patrick Clowney

Lieutenant Colonel
United States Air Force

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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Event Location

The George Washington University School of Business
2201 G St, NW, Duques Hall, Room 453
Washington, DC, 20052

Agenda and Cost:

11:30am - Networking
12:00 through 1:00pm - Presentation

This luncheon is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required to attend.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) loses billions of dollars annually on cancelled or failed acquisition programs and projects. Several DoD acquisition studies, Office of Management and Budget Studies, Government Accountability Office Reports, as well as other studies highlight the disturbing fact of the plethora of programs that fail to meet full operational requirements capabilities and therefore are eventually cancelled. In these cases, the DoD loses billions of investment dollars with a modicum of return. Scholars, program managers, and systems engineers posit that there are a host of factors that influence whether a program is cancelled or allowed to continue. They include, but are not limited to political pressures, cost overruns, schedule overruns, and performance shortfalls. There is also speculation that systems engineering techniques which primarily focus on the product domain as opposed to project management techniques which primarily focus on the project domain yield higher program and project success rates. This research aims to answer several interrelated research questions to identify the factors that have the greatest influence on program and project cancellation, construct logistics regressions models based on the factor, and capture any significant differences between SE and PM that indicate program success or failure. The research questions include the following:

• What does systematic root cause analyses reveal about the underlying reasons of why programs are cancelled, whether and how these cancellations are detrimental, and what acquisition leaders might do to rectify problems?

• Is there a significant difference DoD cancelled programs and successful programs that exhibit more systems engineering precepts compared to program management precepts?

Based on the results and analyses of the research questions, a multiple regression model will be constructed and a dynamic systems model will be constructed to accurately predict program/project success or failure. Further, this research uses surveys, root cause analysis, acquisition reports, and expert judgment as the primary data and analytical tools. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide an innovative way to predict and understand program and project management in the context systems engineering, program management, and systems dynamics.

Special Instructions: 
  • Closest metro stop: Foggy Bottom
  • Garage Parking at Marvin Center (H & 21st St, NW): $18.00
  • Metered parking is available
  • Photo ID is required
  • Use 22nd Street entrance
PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs

About the Speaker

Patrick Clowney

United States Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Clowney is the Deputy Chief of the Air Force Global Diversity Division, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, DC.  In this capacity, he is responsible for implementing the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services strategic vision and priorities for Air Force Diversity and Inclusion and the Air Force's language, region, and culture programs. 

Prior to his current assignment, he served as Chief, Programs Branch, Headquarters United States Air Force Special Operations Command.  He led the MAJCOM branch responsible for Air Force resourcing of 18,344 airmen, 136 units, and 13 MDS supporting all COCOMs.  He also developed the Air Force Special Operations Command commander’s programming strategies and priorities by building, submitting, and defending AFSOC’s dual Program Budget Review, $24B, to the Air Force and United States Special Operations Command.

Lieutenant Colonel Clowney graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Sciences.  He is a senior navigator with more than 1,800 hours, including over 250 combat hours, primarily as a Fire Control Officer on the AC-130 gunship.  He has flown more than 50 missions supporting operations over Afghanistan.  In previous assignments he has served as a squadron commander, flight commander, Wing Air Operations Officer, executive officer and on the plans and programs staff at AFSOC headquarters.  At the Pentagon, he served on the Air Staff as a strategic planner in the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Strategic Studies Group.   He also served a joint assignment as Chief of Operations in the Afghan National Security Planning Center

About the Washington Circle Luncheons

PMIWDC's Washington Circle luncheons are a series of free brownbag luncheons hosted at 2201 G St, NW in Downtown DC. There are luncheons every fourth Wednesday of the month, unless posted otherwise.

This program series is made possible by the generous support of George Washington University School of Business, which offers a Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) degree. The MSPM program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals who want to enhance their ability to integrate complex projects, motivate people, and achieve cost-effective results. With courses offered both on-campus and online, students have the flexibility to complete the degree from virtually anywhere.

Washington Circle luncheons are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis.

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