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Integrating Earned Value Analysis and Independent Cost Estimating for Large, Multiyear System Procurements

Management Track



The NRO Cost Analysis Improvement Group has integrated the Earned Value Analysis Center of Excellence (ECE) with the Independent Cost Estimating (ICE) group. The intent of this consolidation is to continue to improve the estimating and earned value products that are provided to Agency decision makers. Both the ECE and ICE groups are finding the integration mutually beneficial. The NRO CAIG often uses earned value (EV) information to help develop and validate its high level conclusions reached in independent cost estimates (ICEs). This approach has, at times, led analysts astray.

A study was conducted after the fact to understand why this may occur. The study focused on a single program. In this single case, the EV data that was utilized to update the ICE was top level and did not achieve the desired end results.

Most notable is the more in depth approach and use of, budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS); an important bellwether that could have provided warning to the ICE team. We are determining if more traditional ways of analyzing EV data shows that a better understanding of the data would also have provided more useful data to the ICE team.

In order to better understand EV data at the top level and to continue to improve the ICE capability, along with EV analysis capability, our team is doing analysis and gathering data that will yield metrics or “trigger points.” The trigger points provide a metric for executive level management to quickly and effectively check EV data to better understand where the program is in terms of cost and schedule.

This paper provides lessons learned and suggested techniques to not only use EV data when developing an ICE but also to improve accuracy and validity of estimating and EV products.


Greg Lochbaum

Cole Kupec
Mr. Cole Kupec has been an earned value management (EVM) analyst in support of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) since the beginning of 2010. In this capacity, he is responsible for conducting EVM analysis, joint surveillance reviews, internal baseline reviews and validating system descriptions. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He also holds a Masters degree from Auburn University in Business Administration.

Eric Mosier
Mr. Mosier currently estimates space systems costs for Wyle, and previously worked on issues of transportation security economics.
He received his BS in economics from the American University in 2004. While at American, he received a grant from the School of Arts and Sciences to research and present findings on the politicization of White House economic forecasting, under the guidance of Kara Olson. He also researched the determinants of household relocation, under the guidance of Robert Lerman.

Chris Massey