Building partnerships and strengthening relations were the key messages Dr. William Bookless, NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator, delivered virtually during his keynote address at the Fourth Annual Cost Estimating Community of Practice (CECOP) Symposium on Aug. 6. The event was hosted by Sandia National Laboratories.
Expert application of cost estimating is required to meet our mission, continue accomplishing our goals and milestones, and to sustain our priorities.
Dr. Bookless provided an overview of NNSA’s mission, achievements, and priorities and focused on the importance of cost estimating from an NNSA senior leadership perspective. He also stressed the importance of building partnerships across the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
Noting that cost estimates that are defensible, reliable, and realistic are the foundation of the NNSA budgeting cycle, he stressed their value in maintaining NNSA’s credibility with Congress and the public.
“Expert application of cost estimating is required to meet our mission, continue accomplishing our goals and milestones, and to sustain our priorities,” Dr. Bookless explained. “The work you do – as cost estimating professionals – is essential to NNSA senior leadership being able to effectively plan for and make funding decisions to meet our mission.”
Additionally, Dr. Bookless spoke about the importance of the Planning, Programming, Budget and Evaluation (PPBE) initiative at NNSA. He explained how a working group was formed to make recommendations to help improve NNSA functional capabilities, provide consistent expert support to the NNSA Administrator, programs, and field, and to foster a culture change in career and discipline.
“Realignment of roles, responsibilities, and authorities for PPBE enhances the critical functional areas, such as cost estimating, and supports strengthened mission execution,” he concluded.
CECOP was formed by NNSA’s eight labs, plants and sites, as well as its headquarters for the purpose of exchanging cost estimating best practices through collaborative relationships within government, industry, and the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
CECOP is an informal gathering of cost estimating practitioners. Like an academic consortium, CECOP is focused on training, education, and the exchange of cost estimating methodologies and best practices. This focus is correlated to the unique mission and conditions relating to the Nation’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. Cost estimating professionals from the NNSA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense security enterprise, contractors, and other experts in the field participate in the annual CECOP Symposium.