Well then I must have just flubbed my arithmetic. Having zero visibility into the project, I'm just guessing. Hell, even on projects I work on that straddle the line between R&D and procurement I have a hard time putting a number on retention, but I do know that if an individual piece of work takes X months for one competent guy to do, and he quits after having his budget cut, restored, and then cut again, only to be restored the month after he leaves, it'll take ~0.5X months to find a replacement and bring him up to speed. And by definition he's not as good as the guy who left since he's new to the organization and doesn't have as finely resolved of a mental picture of the whole project and where his work fits in as the first guy did. Is that 1.5 times the cost for the same work? Maybe. Sometimes slack gets picked up, sometimes people burn out under the added load. Sometimes a flash of divine inspiration lets you do more with less, and sometimes the whole thing tanks because the guy walked out the door with 50% plus epsilon of the knowhow to get it done and the whole thing needs to be restarted or retendered.