Posted by

Developing a Milestone-A Analysis of Alternatives Cost Estimate

Life Cycle Cost Track

Downloadable Files:




Department of Defense (DoD) leadership is rigorously evaluating acquisition programs much earlier in the system’s lifecycle than they have in the past due to the increased scrutiny of defense funding. This in turn greatly increases the demand for cost information to support these early programmatic decisions.

The ODASA-CE Early Cost Team recently estimated the life-cycle costs for an intellectually exciting and challenging Milestone-A Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). This analysis, which was of high interest to leadership, was to be completed in a much shorter period of time than normally expected. Furthermore, material solutions from multiple services were included within this AoA. Where would you as the analyst begin when asked to produce this early cost estimate knowing that key information such as schedules was not available? How would you define or scope the boundaries of the analysis? What data might you collect or methodologies might you investigate?

This paper discusses how this early cost estimate, which was approved by the Joint Study Advisory Group (JSAG) and made the Army’s official cost position, was developed. Specifically, the atypical cost methodologies as well as the presentation of results that were utilized are presented. The lessons learned as a result of this effort are also discussed.


Chadd Sibert
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE)
Mr. Sibert currently serves as an Operations Research Analyst on the Early Cost Team within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE). His work focuses on the development of early (multi-platform) life cycle cost estimates, and the development and implementation of the Capabilities Knowledge Base (CKB). 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.