Cost Estimating Training for Non-Cost Estimators

Methods and Models II Track



The effort to improve the accuracy and fidelity of cost estimates is critical given budget restraints. As this effort continues, non-cost estimators (program managers, engineers, logisticians, etc.) are more frequently facing the demand of preliminary cost estimates prior to the development of formal cost estimates. These preliminary estimates are done in order to streamline the cost estimating process and guard against risk for a program in development. While most non-cost estimators have the information and tools available to address early program cost estimating needs, many do not have the skills and experience necessary to make good use of the resources at their disposal. In this case, comprehensive training that uses real world scenarios to convey core cost estimating concepts can be a valuable resource.

This paper will explain the challenges faced in developing quick, comprehensive, and easy to follow cost estimating training for non-cost estimators. This paper will also address the methodology employed to rapidly increase the capability of a non-cost estimator to conduct preliminary estimates and assist in formal estimating procedures as a program matures. This methodology uses examples from past programs, mock scenarios, current tools, and common practices.


Jeremy Eden
Booz Allen Hamilton
Mr. Eden has been with Booz Allen Hamilton for 5 years, assigned to the Defense Business Segments Analytics practice. Mr. Eden provides cost estimating, project and business analysis support. Mr. Eden has over 9 years of experience performing feasibility studies, intelligence analysis, design, implementation, maintenance, and reporting of engineering and economic projects. For the last 3 years, Mr. Eden has supported a task for the United States Marine Corps Market: The Logistics Requirements Funding Summary Cost Estimating Tool. Mr. Eden co-authored a cost tool for non-cost estimator logisticians to use in the completion of an LRFS. This tool utilizes heavy usage of Visual Basic, an interface that interviews the user, interactive help feature, and an extensive model database. Previous work has included supporting the United States Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Diversity Study. Mr. Eden co-authored a cost tool for assessing DISA’s worldwide fiber-optic network diversity effort. This tool utilizes regression analysis of previous diversity actions, as well as current market and industry parameters to provide high confidence estimates of the impact of the program on current and future agency budgets. Mr. Eden also supported the United States Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD). This task included the editing, updating, and modifying of a CARD document on a weekly basis as customers requirements and objectives changed. Other previous work has included support for the United States Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). Mr. Eden provided support in editing and updating the cost model analysis for the AAV program. This support included the utilization of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) script modification, specifically for Microsoft Excel to create a final tool that was complete, but available for further utilization and modification by the client as requirements changed.