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Utilizing The Capabilities Knowledge Base for Cost Benefit Analysis and Analysis of Alternatives

Models and Methods Track



Department of Defense (DoD) leadership is rigorously evaluating potential acquisition programs much earlier in the programs lifecycle than they have in the past due to the increased scrutiny of defense funding. Two key items are the December 2008 DoD Instruction 5000.02 addressing Milestone-A Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) and recent Department of the Army guidance requiring Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) for all decision points. This in turn greatly increases the demand for cost information to support these early programmatic decisions. However, are there any tools available to support this effort? If so, how would you utilize them?

The Capabilities Knowledge Base (CKB) contains the data and analysis tools to support this need. The CKB was designed and developed by ODASA-CE to facilitate early costing. The CKB can be used to support the development of early cost estimates for proposed materiel or non-materiel solutions, based on that solutions capability set. The CKB, which is currently being used by over 90 DoD analysts, has been successfully utilized in support of Milestone-A AoAs and CBAs.

The CKB is fundamentally composed of three major elements: Data Navigator; Analytical Tools; and Support Documentation. The Data Navigator contains high-level system capability, cost, and performance data for over 500 DoD programs. The Analytical Tools provide the user with the ability to identify and evaluate analogous historical programs based on the capability set of the proposed solution. The third and final key element of the CKB is a robust set of Support Documentation to assist the CKB user. The content, applications, and recommended use of the CKB are explored in greater detail within this paper.


Chadd Sibert
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE)
Mr. Sibert currently serves as a Senior 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, the verification and validation of life-cycle cost estimates within Cost Benefit Analyses, 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.