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Zero Based Review Methodology

Methods and Models I Track



The days of incrementally funding activities based on past performance are over at DIA. Increased budget pressure throughout the federal government has created an environment for improvements to the way activities are funded. DIA is approaching this increasingly challenging budget environment with a new programming methodology – Zero Based Reviews. The Zero Based Review (ZBR) process incorporates programmatic analysis and activity-based costing to approach budgeting from a right sizing methodology. Rather than reviewing the enterprise based on current structure, the ZBR takes a topical approach to program review to determine if the right resources are being used in the right way for the right mission. The basis for the analysis relies on the definitions of Key Business Areas (KBAs) that are set by subject matter experts and independent reviewers. For each KBA, a bottoms-up analysis of all resources required to perform that activity is conducted. As part of the review, three discrete service levels are developed to provide decision makers with insight as to what level of performance is required by guidance and how additional resources would impact the outputs of the KBAs. If alternative methods of doing business are identified, then an analysis of alternatives is completed. This innovative method for developing cost estimates for budget development allows decision-makers insight into the key activities being performed by the agency and how best to allocate future resources. It provides them a tool to make quick, defensible budget cuts with a clear understanding of the impacts to the services provided. This presentation will discuss the Zero Based Review methodology as an alternative method for future funding decisions.


Martha Wells
TASC, Inc.
Martha Wells is an Operations Research Analyst for TASC supporting Defense Intelligence Agency. She has 8 years of civilian service with the Department of the Navy supporting numerous programs as a budget analyst, cost analyst, and program analyst. Her other experiences including supporting a Department of State Information Technology program as a program manager, and supporting an Office of the Director of National Intelligence program as a cost and program analyst. She has a Bachelors of Science in Economics from James Madison University and a Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University. She is DAWIA Certified in Business Cost and Financial Management.

Peter Meszaros
TASC, Inc.
Peter Meszaros is an Operations Research Analyst for TASC supporting Defense Intelligence Agency. He has 10 years of cost analysis and budget development experience and has supported programs for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy. He has developed life cycle cost estimates, business case analysis, risk analyses, service valuation models, and white papers for his various customers, and manages cost teams for DIA and the National Security Agency. He has a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, and his hobbies include fly fishing, music and watching the New York Football Giants.