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NRO Program Assessments – Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Management Track



The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) performs program assessments for a variety of purposes: the management of acquisition programs; portfolio analysis for resource allocation; and accountability to NRO’s oversight organizations – Execution to Oversight. The NRO Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) recently stood up a Program Assessment group to continuously improve the NRO’s program assessment process to become more efficient, consistent and standardized. This presentation provides the NRO’s approach to each level of the Execution to Oversight pyramid. We will provide insight into the current processes being implemented and improvements being made, a new tool under development called the NRO Program Assessment Dashboard (NPAD), and observations of industry best practices being considered for potential future improvement of NRO processes.

Execution to Oversight –

Cost/Schedule/Contract Execution:
The NRO Program Assessment Dashboard (NPAD) leverages CPR, CFSR, IMS, Winsight tools and Schedule Wizard to centralize program assessment information and make it accessible to senior leaders. NPAD is designed to provide portfolio wide comparisons in standard formats and enable drill down into deeper levels of detail as required. We will also present automated tools to provide in depth program execution analysis (e.g. schedule analysis and data quality assessment).

NRO Program Assessment:
The NRO has implemented program assessment processes that inform Program Managers, Agency management and external oversight. The CAIG is currently reviewing and updating these processes in order to use our program assessment capabilities to better manage NRO programs. We have broadened our support to IBRs to include detailed analysis of current programs compared to historical data. We are performing GEAC analysis at the corporate level providing deeper insight into the organization performance and have developed improved program management metrics for NRO leadership. At the program level we have developed standard work breakdown structures and standard templates to enable consistent cross program comparisons. We are integrating cost and EVM analysis in new ways to provide better prediction of cost and schedule outcomes.

ODNI/OMB Oversight:
The NRO provides Quarterly Program Reviews to external oversight organizations. We are currently assessing industry best practices to evolve and improve program oversight metrics for more efficient, consistent and standardized quarterly reporting.

Each of these steps has been designed to provide deeper insight and understanding using more efficient processes. In this briefing we will share our findings, recommendations, and challenges and solicit feedback on ways to continuously improve our program assessment capabilities.


Greg Lochbaum
Chief for Cross-Program Analysis, NRO CAIG (Cost Analysis Improvement Group)
Gregory J. Lochbaum joined the Central Intelligence Agency in March 2004 and was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG), Business Plans and Operations (BPO). He currently serves as Chief of the Cross-Program Analysis Group in the CAIG. Prior to this position, Mr Lochbaum served as Chief of the SIGINT Group, Chief of the COMM Group, and as the team lead on a designated IMINT Program.
Prior to joining the Central Intelligence Agency, he served as a US Air Force officer in a variety of financial management, acquisition, and logistics positions, including: as Director of the Forces Analysis Division at HQ USAF, Director of the Cost Reporting Division at HQ USAF, Chief of C3I Division at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency, and Program Control Chief for the Communications Directorate at Electronics Systems Division. Greg retired from the Air Force in May 2004 after 25 years of service.

Linda Williams
Linda A. Williams, CCEA, PMP
Ms. Williams has over thirty years of experience with space system cost estimating. She has been the Wyle Program Manager for the NRO CAIG SETA support contract for the last four years. Through her experience at Wyle, Lockheed Martin, Futron, Harris and L-3 Communications she has developed numerous space system cost models, collected and normalized data, contributed to USCM data collection activities, conducted Price to Win analyses, participated in satellite industry demand based forecasts, and developed numerous economic and strategic planning analyses. She has co-authored several papers focused on Commercial Satellite Market and Price Analyses. She has an MBA from Rider University and a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. She is a current member of SCEA, ISPA and PMI.

Lisa Keller
Lisa Keller has over 15 years of DoD cost and budget analysis, resource management and budget formulation experience. She currently serves as a senior operations research and cost analyst with TASC, Inc., in the National Reconnaissance Office Cost Analysis Improvement Group (NRO CAIG). Prior to joining the NRO, Lisa was an Operations Research Systems Analyst in the Army where she served 22 years. She held several key assignments in the HQ Department of the Army G-1, G-6 and G-8. Her last assignment was with the HQDA G-8 Program Analysis and Evaluation (PAE) Directorate. She has specialized expertise in Program Objective Memorandum (POM) and Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) processes. Her core competencies include cost estimation, budget development, POM requirements development and Cost Benefit Analysis. She holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics and an M.S. degree in Operations Research.

Ken Odom
Kenneth D. Odom, CCEA
Mr. Odom has over 18 years of professional experience both managing and performing cost analysis, schedule analysis, risk analysis, earned value management analysis, as well as cost research and cost estimating method/model development for space systems and weapons systems for both Government and Commercial clients. He is currently the Booz Allen Hamilton Program Manager for the National Reconnaissance Office Cost Analysis Improvement Group (NRO CAIG) support contract. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Engineering Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has presented technical papers at various conferences including DoDCAS and SCEA.