National Nuclear Security Administration

Cost estimating excellence through collaboration

March 28, 2017

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NNSA hosted its first Cost Estimating Community of Practice (CECOP) Symposium March 21-22 at NNSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

CECOP programs

Similar to an academic consortium, CECOP is a formal gathering of cost estimating practitioners focused on training, education, and the exchange of methodologies and best practices within the Nuclear Security Enterprise, government, and industry. 

The event brought together leaders from NNSA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Government Accounting Office, and the private sector.

CECOP supports NNSA Defense Programs in estimating life extension program costs for publication in the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan

Dr. Don Cook

Dr. Don Cook, former NNSA deputy administrator for Defense Programs, was the opening speaker for the symposium. Cook spoke on cost improvements within the Nuclear Security Enterprise through a discussion of NNSA’s history - past, present, and future vision in Defense Programs cost estimating and analysis.

Doug Comstock

Doug Comstock is the deputy chief financial officer for integration at NASA headquarters. His responsibilities have included cost estimating policy, providing cost analysis capabilities and tools for NASA, developing new and improved methods for cost analysis through research, as well as cost analysis consulting to programs and projects and cost analysis for agency studies. In a keynote, Comstock discussed factors used at NASA to reach decisions on funding levels, including data, policy and process, and community.

Gary R. Bliss

Gary R. Bliss is the director of Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. PARCA carries out performance assessments of major defense acquisitions programs for senior Department of Defense officials. In the opening address for the second day of the symposium, Bliss spoke to participants about why and how cost estimates fail.

A.C. Charania

A.C. Charania works on the business development and strategy team for Blue Origin, LLC, a developer of vehicles and technologies to enable human space transportation. In a keynote, Charania gave symposium participants an overview of cost estimating within the aeronautical industry and discussion of best practices and processes in private industry.