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Capabilities-Based Cost Estimating: Capabilities Knowledge Base (CKB) Analysis Tools and Applications

Methods Track

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Cost analysts in today’s environment often find themselves being asked to analyze solutions identified to fill capability gaps that are poorly defined. Often, only a requirement or desired capability set is known. Is this sufficient information to produce a cost estimate? Are there any tools available to support this effort? If so, how would you utilize them?

This work submits that The Capabilities Knowledge Base (CKB) can be used to support this need. The CKB was designed and developed by the Early Cost Team at ODASA-CE to facilitate the use of capability-based cost estimating. This project suggests that the CKB can be used to support the development of early cost estimates for proposed materiel or non-materiel solutions, based on that solution’s capability set.

The CKB is fundamentally composed of three major elements: the data warehouse; data archive; and analysis tools. The data warehouse contains high-level system capability, cost, and performance data for over 200 existing Department of Defense (DoD) military systems. The data archive contains the authoritative source documents for the data stored within the data warehouse. The third and final key element of the CKB is a robust set of analysis tools to be utilized by the end-user. The content and applications of the CKB are explored in greater detail within this paper.


Chadd Sibert
Mr.  Sibert  currently  serves  as  an  Operations  Research  Analyst  in  the  Office  of  the  Deputy  Assistant  Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA‐CE). His work focuses on the development and implementation of the Capabilities Knowledge Base, and the development of Early (Multi‐Platform) and Tactical Vehicle life cycle cost estimates. He graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with high honors  obtaining  a  Bachelor  of  Science  Degree  in  Industrial  Engineering,  and  worked  as  an  Industrial  Engineer specializing in Quality Control and Manufacturing Processes at IBM Corporation prior to his arrival at ODASA‐CE.