quote: 2. Executive Summary The problems causing cost growth and schedule delays on the JWST Project are associated with budgeting and program management, not technical performance. The technical performance on the Project has been commendable and often excellent. However, the budget baseline accepted at the Confirmation Review did not reflect the most probable cost with adequate reserves in each year of project execution. This resulted in a project that was simply not executable within the budgeted resources. Budgeting The estimate to complete the JWST Project at Confirmation was understated for two reasons. First, the budget presented by the Project at Confirmation was flawed because it was not based upon a current bottoms-up estimate and did not include the known threats1. As a result of poor program and cost control practices, the Project failed to develop a reasonable cost and schedule baseline.Second, the reserves provided were too low because they were established against a baseline budget that was too low, and in addition, because of budget constraints, were too low in the year of Confirmation and the year following (less than 20%) the two highest expenditure years. Leadership at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and NASA Headquarters failed to independently analyze the JWST Project’s performance and recognize the flawed baseline. The reserve situation was recognized as a problem at the time, as was a degree of optimism in the integration and test (I&T) budget, which prompted NASA management to change the baseline launch date from June 2013 to June 2014 and to add extra reserves in the out years. Unaware of how badly understated the JWST Budget2 was, NASA management thought there was a 70% probability of launching in June 2014 at a total lifecycle cost of nearly $5 billion with the Confirmation budget profile. In fact, the Project had no chance of meeting either the schedule or the budget profile.Another contributing factor was that in balancing the overall astrophysics program, the Astrophysics Division did not allocate the full funding amount needed to execute the Project. This might have required shifting resources from other programs within the Division. If this was not within its budgeting authority, the Division should have gone on record to the SMD and Agency management that its portfolio was not executable. Instead, the Division accepted the Project’s continuing practice of deferring work and accepted the consequence of continued cost and schedule growth.