Building a DHS Cost Estimating & Analysis Center of Excellence
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cost Estimating & Analysis (CE&A) Center of Excellence (COE) serves as the Department’s primary advocate and resource for cost estimating and analysis. Formed in October 2011, the CE&A COE’s primary goal is to take a proactive, streamlined approach to improving the Department’s resources and skills in cost estimating and analysis.
This presentation highlights the roles and responsibilities of CE&A COE and summarizes the work accomplished to date and planned future efforts for accomplishing the following objectives:
1. Best Practices: Develop and provide best practice processes and guidance that support the development of cost estimates and cost analyses in the Department. We present work accomplished to date, supporting DHS cost estimating guidance and reporting policy.
2. Enterprise Tools: Establish and support the use of best-in-class program management and execution tools and standardized operating models for how to best use the tools. We present a framework and concepts supporting a DHS standard WBS for IT programs.
3. Expert Support: Providing subject matter expertise (SME) to assist DHS components and program managers (PMs) with cost estimating and analysis who lack the staff expertise critical to program success and to mentor aspiring professionals in their particular discipline. We present work accomplished to date and future plans for expert support.
4. Evaluation Criteria: Set the evaluation criteria for providing technical analyses and reviews as needed to ensure common practice and discipline throughout the lifecycle of a program. We present DHS criteria and our evaluation format used to assess all DHS life cycle cost estimates.
5. Acquisition Workforce: Developing the content for cost estimating and analysis training in alignment with best practice “process assets” and Acquisition Workforce Business-Cost Estimating training certification. We present training opportunities for DHS cost estimators.
The presentation will be of interest to government and contractor cost estimators working on DHS programs as well as anyone from other departments wishing to leverage DHS best practices and tools.
Katie Geier is the Lead for the Cost Estimating and Analysis Center of Excellence at DHS. Selected to stand up this new effort in July 2011, she is responsible for promoting a culture of program accountability in the area of cost estimating and analysis. Ms. Geier joined the DHS Cost Analysis Division (CAD) in July 2009 where she was responsible for supporting decisions pertaining to cost analysis policy, guidance, and oversight of all acquisition program Life Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCEs) in the Department. (CADs mission has since been assumed by the Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management within the Management Directorate).
Prior to DHS, Ms. Geier worked for the Navy Engineering Logistics Office for six years where she obtained vast experience estimating weapons for various platforms. Ms. Geier provided estimating support for all phases of the life cycle (Concept Demonstration to Operations and Support) across surface, subsurface, ground, and air platforms. She also provided a range of acquisition services conducting fact-finding and proposal evaluations, supporting negotiations and Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBRs), and developing earned value analyses and instructions for offerors of multiple programs.
Ms. Geier holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University (2002) and a M.B.A. from The George Washington University (2007). She passed the Engineer in Training exam in 2003 and is certified Level III for the Business, Cost Estimating and Financial Management career field, and Level II for the Systems Planning, Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E), Science & Technology career field. She is working on Level III certification for the Program Management career field.
Ms. Colleen Craig is a certified cost analyst at Technomics with three years of experience in cost analysis, operations research and systems engineering. In her time at Technomics, she has supported the OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army-Cost & Economics (DASA-CE) and Department of Homeland Securitys Cost Estimating & Analysis Center of Excellence (CE&A COE), formerly Cost Analysis Division (CAD). For these customers, she has supported the development of life cycle cost estimates, discrete event simulations, earned value analysis, policy development, database development and maintenance, and the development of technical baseline documents. Application areas include defense weapon systems (space systems, missiles, munitions and aircraft) and IT systems. Prior to joining Technomics, Ms. Craig worked as an Industrial Engineer at Walt Disney World Resort where she designed and implemented efficiency studies and process improvements and performed cost analyses. Ms. Craig is a Professional Cost Estimator/Analyst (PCEA) and has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.
David Brown is a Senior Cost Analyst at Technomics. His primary areas of expertise are IT life cycle cost estimating and analysis, economic analysis, cost assessment, database development and management, and acquisition program management. Since joining Technomics in May, 2010, Mr. Brown has developed cost estimates for clients within the Government Accountability Office and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is currently supporting the DHS Cost Estimating & Analysis Center of Excellence.
Mr. Brown is a SCEA-Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (C/CEA). He holds a bachelors degree in Engineering and Policy with concentrations in Economics and Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Kevin Cincotta is a Technical Officer at Technomics. He was recently awarded the 2011 Estimator of the Year Award for Technical Achievement from the Washington Area Chapter of the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis (SCEA). His primary areas of expertise are cost analysis, database creation and management, and statistics. He leads projects for the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and Naval Center for Cost Analysis (NCCA). The projects focus on development and maintenance of training materials for cost analysts at all levels; and analysis of cost growth in time series data relating to contract obligations, respectively. In addition, he serves as Director of the Technomics Training Institute, which trains junior and mid-level costs analysts with the aim of building core knowledge and facilitating professional certification.
From 2003 to 2009, Kevin was a Research at Fellow at LMI (formerly the Logistics Management Institute). He led myriad projects for clients in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. These include analysis of cost per flying hour calibration factors for the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA), development of the Program-Budget/Joint Capability Area (P-B/JCA) data structure for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Capability Assessment and Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE), and various applied estimates and comparative analyses for the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC). He was also a lead instructor for LMIs internal cost estimating and analysis training.
From 2001 to 2003, Kevin served as a Senior Cost Analyst at MCR, LLC. He worked closely with government clients at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop a radar cost model, which was presented by MCR at the 2004 SCEA conference.
Kevin’s DoDCAS and SCEA presentations include Interval Maximum Likelihood Estimation (2005), A Physics-Based Model of Maintenance Demands (2006), Multicollinearity: Coping with the Persistent Beast (2007), Agreements, Planning and Execution System (2008), The Percentile Problem: How Much Is Enough? (2008), New Research in General Error Regression Model (GERM) Significance Testing (2009), Cost Estimating as a Linear Programming Problem (2009), Use of Life Cycle Cost Estimates in OMB 300 Reporting (2010), and Multicollinearity Zero Intercept Regression (2011). More recently, Kevin has focused on coordinating the training for the SCEA/ISPA National Conference, and serves as national Training Chair for SCEA.
Kevin also led several cost analysis-related tasks at the New Vectors (formerly Vector Research, Incorporated and the Altarum Institute) from 1997 to 2001. As a Senior Cost Analyst and Systems Developer, he assisted in creating life cycle cost estimates (LCCEs) for myriad DOD projects, including the Standard Procurement System (SPS), the Defense Occupational Health Readiness System (DOHRS), and the Simplified Tax and Wage Reporting System (STAWRS). He created several model questions for the current C/CEA exam, and currently serves at the SCEA Training Chair. Known as Crystal City’s original Nature Boy, Kevin holds a masters degree in economics and philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelors in the same fields from the University of Virginia.