Using Earned Value Data to Forecast the Duration of Department of Defense Space Acquisition Programs
Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics
Traditional earned value management techniques to predict final costs of space acquisition programs are historically inaccurate. A 2015 study by the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (Keaton 2015) sought to improve the accuracy of the cost estimate at completion for space system contracts through a linear relationship between budgeted cost for work performed and time. That study found schedule duration to be a cost driver, but assumed the underlying schedule duration estimate was accurate. This research expands upon the previous research through an improved duration estimation methodology. Next, we incorporate our duration methodology into various estimate at complete models to derive a more accurate estimate at complete for space acquisition programs. Our methods improve the accuracy by 6.5% over existing methods. The results offer an alternative approach to schedule duration estimates and earned value estimate at complete calculations that may be useful to cost analysts and program managers.
Shedrick Bridgeforth is a cost analyst in the space division at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency.
Dr. Jonathan Ritschel is an Assistant Professor of Cost Analysis at the Air Force Institute of Technology. His research interests include public choice, institutional analysis, and cost analysis.
Dr. Edward D. White is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Air Force Institute of Technology. His primary research interests include statistical modeling and simulation.
Grant Keaton is a cost analyst for the United States Air Force. He holds an MS in cost analysis from the Air Force Institute of Technology.