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NNSA, through Defense Programs activities, is responsible for ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of these activities across the Nuclear Security Enterprise and NNSA involve complex, dynamic, and interdependent processes within and between the sites. This increases the challenge of estimating costs for Defense Programs activities. In October 2013, Dr. Donald Cook, Former Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs directed that a Cost Improvement Initiative be undertaken to identify key areas of improvement within the cost estimation process while also establishing a series of standards and best practices to significantly improve cost estimating for both programs and projects in DP.
Multiple recommendations emerged from the initiative, one of which was the creation of a subgroup within the Integrated Planning Group for estimating life extension program costs for publication in the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan. Members of this subgroup recognized the need for developing a Cost Estimating Analysis Group (CEAG) for Defense Programs that would lead continuous improvement of Defense Programs cost estimation practices and other related issues in the enterprise.
The CEAG is composed of representatives from across the enterprise thereby integrating the knowledge and expertise of professionals at the sites and NNSA headquarters. The CEAG has been chartered to coordinate and lead independent cost estimate reviews or other cost analysis efforts as requested by Defense Programs leadership (NA-11, NA-12, NA-15, NA-18, NA-19) and approved by the CEAG Leadership Team. The CEAG is also responsible for leading the Cost Estimating Community of Practice (CECOP) and establishing cost estimating procedures, methodologies and best-practices specific to Defense Programs activities. This not only informs higher-fidelity cost estimating efforts but also fosters more effective communication and collaboration.
The formalization of the CEAG was initiated to assure continuous improvement in support of the goals outlined in the Cost Improvement Initiative . Additional information about CECOP can be found via About CECOP.