NASA Cost Estimating Handbook (2008)

Keywords cost estimating handbook cost estimation NASA

2.1 The Importance of Life Cycle Management and Cost Estimating

An integrated, process-centered, and disciplined approach to life cycle management of projects provides real and tangible benefits to all project stakeholders. Organizations that ask great things from their membership, like NASA, must provide them with the resources necessary to accomplish greatness. This includes the realistic estimates of what those resources will cost. That is why cost estimating is so important at NASA. Through upfront trade studies and cost-risk performance analyses joined with the application of proven software, hardware, and system engineering principles and best practices, risks inherent with the successful delivery of the right product on time and within budget are minimized. Additional inherent results include:

• Early recognition of interoperability requirements and constraints
• Complete, unambiguous, and documented functional requirements
• Bounded and clearly defined product functional expectations and acceptance criteria, understood and agreed to by all stakeholders
• More accurate, credible, and defensible scope, cost, and schedule estimates
• More complete and timely risk identification, leading to more effective risk mitigation
• A basis for properly quantifying, evaluating, and controlling the acceptance and timing of changes to requirements (i.e., precluding “scope creep”)

Date published
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management handbook
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The NASA CEH has proven to be a dynamic, living document, changing with the many positive developments within the NASA Cost Estimating Community. The new developments at NASA covered in this handbook will help improve the NASA Cost Estimating Community’s ability to provide quality and accurate cost estimates, help generate realistic budget submissions, and provide decision makers with accurate and realistic cost data. This will aid in delivering projects on time and within budget and improve NASA’s reputation with external stakeholders. The new developments at NASA include:
• Updates to NPR 7120.5
• Updates to NPR 8400.4
• Updated CADRe templates and submission guidelines
• NASA Standardized WBS
• The One NASA Cost Engineering (ONCE) database
• Cost Risk
• The Planning Programming Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) process

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