ODASA-CE Software Growth Research
Information Technology Track
For several years, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE) has used a single growth factor to account for size growth in weapon system software development estimates. This factor is invariant to program characteristics and may, for example, lead to excessive growth estimates for large programs, whereas experience suggests that these grow less in percentage terms than their smaller counterparts. Over the past year, ODASA-CE worked with Technomics, Inc. to research improved methodologies for incorporating growth in software estimates. Software Resource Data Reports (SRDRs) are a natural data source for this research because both initial and final reports are available, providing a record of actual growth.
Using a collection of both Initial and Final SRDRs, we have developed a variety of tools that ODASA-CE can use to account for software growth, rather than relying on a “one size fits all” software size growth factor. We developed models that:
o Are based on visible, historical data
o Incorporate multivariate analysis for greater precision
o Are based on assumptions whose veracity was verified with objective statistical tests
o Are auditable, repeatable, and defendable based on Cost Review Board (CRB), Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other authoritative sources of best practices
o Provide objective measures of significance, uncertainty, and model performance
We provide an overview of: 1) independent and dependent variables analyzed in the study; 2) methodology for developing and selecting final best models; and 3) a description of models and how they can be used by ODASA-CE for software cost estimating. We conclude by comparing our models’ estimates to the ones implied by the traditional growth factor.
Kevin Cincotta is a Technical Officer and Division Operations Manager at Technomics, Inc. His primary areas of expertise are cost analysis, database creation and management, and statistics. Mr. Cincotta leads or contributes to projects for the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (DASA-CE). In addition, Kevin created and 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.
Prior to joining Technomics, Mr. Cincotta was a Research 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 LMI’s internal cost estimating and analysis training.
Mr. Cincotta is an International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA)-Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (C/CEA). He created several model questions for the current C/CEA exam, and currently serves at the ICEAA Chapter and Regional Training Chair. Kevin holds a master’s degree in economics and philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor’s in the same fields from the University of Virginia.
Lauren Nolte is a Senior Consultant at Technomics, Inc. Her primary area of expertise is improving government agencies’ policy decision-making tools and processes. Ms. Nolte leads the project for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE) to provide software cost estimation support and research, including the software growth study. Ms. Nolte also contributes to a project for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE) developing analytical information display products across a variety of data sources to assist analysts in assessing costs and schedules for major defense acquisition programs.
Prior to joining Technomics, Ms. Nolte was a Research Fellow at LMI Government Consulting, where she led a project for OSD CAPE to develop the Program-Budget/Joint Capability Area (P-B/JCA) data structure, a tool for strategic level resource analysis. The project also focused on analyzing and recommending improvements to the systems, processes, and data used to produce the Department of Defense’s Future Years Defense Program (FYDP).
Ms. Nolte holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School (Syracuse University) and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
Eric Lofgren is a cost analyst at Technomics, Inc. supporting software cost estimation and research for ODASA-CE, data retrieval and visualization for OSD CAPE, EVM analysis for NCCA, and NASA cost audits for the GAO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Virginia Tech.
Remmie Arnold is a cost analyst at Technomics, Inc. supporting ODASA-CE software growth and schedule estimation for weapons systems acquisitions, multiple GAO engagements, and ODUSD(I&E) life cycle cost analysis and sustainment assessment. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Statistics from Virginia Tech.