An Overview of the Schedule Compliance Risk Assessment Methodology (SCRAM)
Image Credit: Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI)

Posted: February 10, 2016 | By: Adrian Pitman, Elizabeth K. Clark, Brad Clark, Angela Tuffley

Elements of the SCRAM Product Suite

Apart from the RCASS Model described in this paper, additional elements of the SCRAM Product Suite include:

  • An ISO 15504 [4] compliant Process Reference / Assessment Model (PR/AM) for SCRAM (Relates processes and best practices to the relevant RCASS category)
  • SCRAM PR/AM Model and Assessor Training Courses
  • SCRAM Assessor Guidebook

The PR/AM is available for download from Additional details about SCRAM can also be found at this website.

SCRAM Application

There are three potential areas of SCRAM application:

Pro-Active SCRAM or P-SCRAM: Conducted at or immediately prior to or shortly after Contract (e.g. at Integrated Baseline Review) to ensure the systemic issues covered by SCRAM are avoided.

Monitor SCRAM or M-SCRAM: Conducted at regular intervals to monitor all categories for status and new risks, i.e. provide program health checks to support appropriate gate or progress reviews.

Diagnostic SCRAM or D-SCRAM: Conducted on challenged programs or programs of concern.  The methodology is used to assess the likelihood of schedule compliance and identify root causes of schedule slippage. Recommendations are made to remediate or mitigate the issues and risks respectively.


[1] Edmound Conrow, “An Analysis of Acquisition Cost, performance, and Schedule Characteristics for DOD Programs,” Acquisition Community Connection, Defense Acquisition University, 2003.

[2] John McGarry, David Card, Cheryl Jones, Beth Layman, Elizabeth Clark, Joseph Dean, and Fred Hall, “Practical Software Measurement: Objective Information for Decision Makers,” Addison-Wesley, 2001.

[3] Barry Boehm, “Section 2: Risk Management Practices: The Six Basic Steps,” from Software Risk Management, IEEE Computer Society Press, 1989.

[4] Ricardo Valerdi, “The Constructive Systems Engineering Cost Model (COSYSMO): Quantifying the Costs of Systems Engineering Effort in Complex Systems,” VDM Verlag, 2008.

[5] International Organization for Standardization; ISO/IEC 15504.2:2003 – Information Technology Process Assessment – Part 2: Performing an assessment


[1] COTS: Commercial Of The Shelf; MOTS: Modified Of The Shelf; NDI: Non-Developed Item (previously existing); GFE: Government Furnished Equipment

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