To meet the challenge of improving cost estimating capabilities within the Environmental Management (EM) organization and the Department as a whole, the EM Applied Cost Estimating (ACE) Team has been established to provide a forum for EM cost professionals to share best practices and lessons-learned, network with their colleagues, and provide support for each other.
The EM ACE Team is considered a Community of Practice (CoP) because:
- They serve as an ongoing learning venue for EM and Departmental staff who share similar goals, interests, problems, and approaches.
- They respond rapidly to individual inquiries from members and external stakeholders with specific answers.
- They develop sound cost engineering policies and practices, capture lessons-learned, and transfer best practices on specific cost engineering topics by stimulating the active sharing of knowledge.
- They influence improved EM project and program operations performance by promoting standardized cost estimating/engineering practices.
- They promote innovative approaches to address specific cost engineering challenges encountered across the EM complex.
- They support the shared goal of improving EM’s contract, project/program, and budget management practices.
The Environmental Management (EM) Applied Cost Engineering (ACE) Team was established to promote continuous cost estimating improvements through dissemination of cost engineering tools, methods, techniques, best practices, and lessons learned across the EM complex.
The main objective of the EM ACE Team is to promote best-in-class cost estimating practices to improve the quality of cost estimates that support the planning and execution of EM projects and operating programs. To meet the challenge of continuously improving EM’s contract and project management functions, DOE EM Federal Project Directors, Site Operations Activity Managers, and other Federal staff must be knowledgeable of the cost engineering methods and procedures for preparing sound cost estimates. High quality cost estimates are an essential element for successful project and program management.
Ensure that DOE-EM program and project managers, Federal Project Directors (FPD), Site Operations Activity Managers, cost engineers, and cost estimators have the necessary tools, systems, and training to develop and manage credible cost estimates that will allow EM to deliver projects and programs on schedule, within budget, and with the required performance capability.
Membership is open to all EM Operations/Field office and EM Headquarters personnel. The EM ACE Team encourages participation by all interested individuals within the Office of Environmental Management, as well as other cost professionals across the Department of Energy (DOE), to promote continuous cost estimating improvements across the DOE complex.
Membership will be extended to the DOE-EM contractor community at a future date.
EM Corporate Sponsorship, consistent with the approved EM Corporate Cost Estimation Strategy (11/17/2008), is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Planning & Budget (EM-60). As the lead EM Headquarters office responsible for cost estimation, EM-60 will work closely with the EM Office of Acquisition & Project Management (EM-50), and the EM Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) to execute EM’s Corporate Cost Estimation Strategy. The EMCBC has responsibility for day-to-day management and operations of the EM ACE Team.
Current ACE Team Membership
Goals and Objectives
The goals of the ACE Team are to:
- Establish standards, policy, and procedures to ensure that EM cost and schedule estimates are accurate, traceable, and reliable.
- Provide Independent Government Cost Estimating (IGCE), Independent Cost Estimate (ICE), and Independent Cost Analysis (ICA) capability to support EM acquisition and project management program requirements.
- Provide independent cost estimating and analysis support to EM management, the EM Acquisition Advisory Board (EMAAB), and EM budget formulation processes.
- Lead the development and management of cost and schedule databases, methodologies, and tools needed by EM to improve and standardize its cost estimating and analysis capabilities.
- To ensure EM cost estimating practices are consistent with accepted industry practices – including practices promulgated by the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide (GA)-09-3SP) – to meet all Federal and DOE cost estimating requirements.
The objectives of the ACE Team are to:
Make cost estimating an integral part of the EM acquisition and project delivery process.
- Develop EM-specific Cost Estimation Policies, Standards, and Procedures.
- Corporately develop & maintain EM’s cost estimation/analysis tool kit;
- Environmental Cost Analysis System (ECAS).
- Remedial Action Cost Engineering and Requirements (RACER).
- Tri-Service Automated Cost Engineering Systems (TRACES).
- Risk & Monte Carlo Simulation tools
- Represent EM on Federal Inter-agency cost estimating forums.
- Promote best practices through dissemination of cost engineering tools, methods, techniques, best practices, and lessons learned across the EM complex.
- Assist with the development of corporate training programs specifically geared towards the cost estimating function.
The rewards of the ACE Team activities include:
- Increasing the core competencies, knowledge base, and capabilities of EM’s cost estimation professionals.
- Increasing awareness of sound cost estimating practices among EM’s Federal Project Directors, Contracting Officers and acquisition professionals, Site Operations Activity Managers, and Program Managers.
- Increase EM’s ability to develop and manage high-quality cost estimates that are credible, well-documented, accurate, and comprehensive.
- Collecting and organizing actual project cost data from completed EM Cleanup Projects to support future EM cost estimating needs and provide benchmarks to validate cost estimates. Expanding the use of EM’s ECAS, in conjunction with and a standardized cost structure (EM Corporate Work Breakdown Structure & ECES), provides a fast and efficient resource for obtaining and using project and cost data from similar projects across the Department and with other Federal agencies.
- Providing cost estimating tools and software that will facilitate comparison of alternatives, make performing cost estimate validations easier, and allow for development of independent cost estimates that are completed more efficiently and are less labor intensive.
- Reduced cost of doing business by streamlining and standardizing cost estimating and engineering practices.
- Allowing important experiences and lessons learned to be shared between sites. Ability to perform evaluations and analysis to determine factors associated with project risks that may impact project costs and schedules.
Appendix A Environmental Management Applied Cost Engineering (ACE) Team Charter Supplement
The ACE Team is a joint Field/HQ group working together on cost activities throughout the EM complex. The ACE Team aims to obtain better understanding of cost activities and to ask the right questions to determine what continuous improvement process (course of action) needs to be taken so that work can be conducted efficiently. The following sections address the ACE Team operational approach, accomplishments, and identification of future activities.
- The ACE Team will maintain a membership of both Headquarters and Field personnel. Operating/integrating contractors, support contractors, and personnel from other agencies are welcome to participate in an advisory capacity, but this is a DOE HQ/Field Working Group. Therefore membership, most interaction and all decision making must be of and by DOE HQ and Field Federal staff.
- To maintain a reasonable size for membership, two members from each Field Office (one designated lead, one backup) will participate. Two members for each HQ Environmental Management Office will also participate. It would not be necessary to include both individuals for meetings requiring travel. At least one person from Office of Acquisition and Project Management (EM-50), Office of Engineering and Technology (EM-20), Office of Planning and Budget (EM-30), Office of Safety Management and Operations (EM-60), and other EM offices will also be invited to participate.
- Field personnel will provide cost engineering data and project management experience to the Team. It is intended that Field Team members will take leadership of this effort and move the Team in a direction that would be most beneficial to management and project technical staff through a consensus or democratic process.
- Headquarters personnel will provide policy guidance, and will serve as communicators to other organizations within DOE Environmental Management and other applicable organizations. It is intended that HQ's role be one of facilitation and support. HQ will also continue participation in the Environmental Cost Engineering Committee (EC2) for Environmental Cost Element Structure (ECES). EC2, previously known as the Interagency Cost Estimating Group was formed in 1991 to enable cost comparisons across Environmental Cleanup complex.
- All members (Field and HQ) shall communicate and coordinate activities and information with their co-workers and management.
- Team Co-Chairs will be designated. One Co-Chair will be from the Field, and the second will be from Headquarters. The Co-Chairs will ensure that goals are set, milestones completed, and that communications between group members, EM and other organizations, as appropriate, proceed smoothly. Bryan Skokan is the current Headquarters Co-Chair. To create an environment of cross-pollination of ideas and concepts, the Field Co-Chair will rotate to each site having the meeting responsibility for the current half-year. The Lead Member from that Field Office (as described above) will act as the Field Co-Chair of the Team for the current half-year. In order to maintain continuity, the Headquarters Co-Chair will not rotate.
- A Coordinator is to be designated to establish meeting agendas; coordinate time, place and conference call numbers; and to communicate within the group. The Coordinator will be assigned the responsibility of ensuring meeting summaries are completed and distributed.
- It will remain the responsibility of each Team member to contribute to the goals of the Team, to innovatively apply Team developed techniques and concepts, to share one's own ideas with the Team, and to communicate this information to one's co-workers and management.
- Workshops will be held semi-annually, or as required. Teleconferences will be held at least monthly. HQ will assume responsibility for the monthly teleconferences. The responsibility for coordinating/hosting the semi-annual workshops will rotate among Field sites. This will allow broader staff participation at the sponsoring location. HQ can provide a facilitator for each teleconference and workshop. Meeting and teleconference summaries are to be recorded and distributed to all Team members, and to management as appropriate.
- Elements of the approach to be implemented by the Team include:
- Raise and resolve cost estimating issues of concern to EM management.
- Present cost estimating and cost control program information, including project accomplishments, at site-wide meetings and other forums.
- Compile and maintain a reference library of documents, reports, and other materials about cost estimating and cost control for environmental projects.
- Establish the Team as a cooperative resource by disseminating information to Headquarters' Working Teams and Field elements, as deemed appropriate by the Team members.
- Maintain "open lines of communication" between Headquarters and the Field, and within respective Field and HQ organizations.
- A uniform approach to electronic communication should be developed.
- Communication by e-mail, bulletin boards, and among a variety of user platforms (Windows based, Mac based, Unix based, etc.) are to be utilized as much as possible.
- This is viewed as a continuous improvement process.
Accomplishments and Activities:
Currently, the scope envisioned for the Team encompasses all environmental activities across the complex. Some of the ACE Team accomplishments include:
- Completed review, modification and updating of the Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Work Breakdown Structure (HTRW WBS), now renamed the ECES, to include waste management activities, additional technologies, and life-cycles phases of an environmental projects.
- Completed annual update of the ECES.
- Adoption of ECES and HTRW WBS by DOE sites performing environmental work.
- The development of the Practical Cost Estimating and Validations Lessons Learned Workshop and Workshop manual which are use to train project/program managers in cost estimating and other cost engineering areas. Workshops have been conducted at Oakland, Richland Operations Office, Savannah River Site, Ohio Field Office, and at Headquarters.
- Development five of Decontamination and Decommissioning cost estimating models in Remedial Action Cost Estimating and Requirement (RACER) System.
- Training of RACER cost estimating tool at several DOE sites (Albuquerque, Idaho, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Oakland, Oak Ridge, Richland, Savannah River Site, and Headquarters).
- Purchase of RACER 2000a for Field Offices needing the software.
- Coordinated the development of models and modifications to RACER Software with other Federal Agencies
- Assisted with development of EM Project Management Guide, specifically, issues regarding contingency and programmatic risk
- Assisted with drafting the DOE Order 413.3, drafted by OECM.
- Compilation of available cost estimating software or tools that may be used by EM in developing estimates.
- Development of general environmental cost factor for environmental work versus commercial construction.
- Assisted with identifying issues and making recommendations for innovative technology costing and collection of the cost data.
Future planned activities include:
- Expand ECES to allow to use as a cost management tool and to develop links with financial management and budgeting systems.
- Promote ECES to become an American Society for Testing and Material standard
- Annual update of the ECES to include Long-Term Stewardship and Waste Management activities, new technologies, and other modifications.
- Complete the development and initiate the use of historical cost data compilation and analysis system known as Environmental Cost Analysis System.
- Develop "CostRisk" software to analyze contingency, based on risk, for environmental management projects and to provide training.
- Continue to train project/program managers in cost estimating and other cost engineering areas.
- Development of DOE specific area cost factors for environmental work.
- Develop cost estimating models, where the cost estimating software (such as RACER) is lacking in DOE needs along with area cost factors for EM sites.
- Updating of cost estimating software summary sheet which provides information on current cost estimating software and tools that can be used by EM to develop estimates.
- Provide Cost Control tools to the complex. EM Project Managers across the complex need a methodology for establishing what a project should cost, and determining if the contractor's costs stay within reasonable costs.
- Establish the Team as a cooperative resource and communication point to pool resources, assist Field organizations with specific cost engineering tasks, develop cost account/work breakdown structures, and share environmental management actual and estimated costs.
- Develop a web site that consolidates and centrally locates data and information useful for EM cost estimators and project/program managers.
- Provide other cost engineering assistance to and coordination with other International, Federal, DOE, and EM Teams, Offices, and Organizations.
EM Applied Cost Engineering (ACE) Team Environmental Cost Element Structure (ECES)
The ECES is an organization system for environmental costs. It can be used to serve as a model for a project-specific work breakdown structure (WBS) and track environmental project costs. Its comprehensive hierarchical lists of work activities (tasks, items, or products) include environmental restoration, waste management, and facility decommissioning and dismantling projects. ECES combines the best elements from federal agencies and industry.
ECES Training Manual
ASTM ECES Adjunct Input Draft Dictionary
While not identical, these materials are the draft input to the ASTM Adjunct and remain compatible with the final ASTM product. The final ASTM Standard E-2150-02 can be purchased at www.ASTM.org
ASTM ECES Input Draft Cost Element Table
While not identical, these materials are the draft input to the ASTM Adjunct and remain compatible with the final ASTM product. The final ASTM Standard E-2150-02 can be purchased at www.ASTM.org
Cost Engineering Links
Definition Of Cost Engineering
Cost engineering is concerned with problems of cost estimation, cost control, and business planning and management science, including problems of project management, planning, scheduling, and profitability analysis of engineering projects and processes. The cost engineer is a qualified professional dedicated to total cost management over the life cycle of a project, facility, or manufacturing operation.
Source: International Cost Engineering Council
Any non-DOE sites listed here are not endorsed by the DOE, but are listed here to help implement cost engineering functions at your site.
Cost Engineering Tools/Resources
Cost Estimating - Resources
The Parametric Cost Estimating Reference Manual developed by NASA, acts as a directory of cost estimating resources on the Internet, including resources from books, Government reports, and periodicals to software and technical reports.
Cost Tools, Models, & Research Related Sites
This site provides information on Cost Tools, Models, & Research Related Sites from other federal agencies such as the DoD, Air Force, Army, Navy, Nasa, and from various commerical companies.
Incorporating Environmental Costs and Considerations into Decision-Making: Review of Available Tools and Software
This site discusses how environmental accounting gives companies the opportunity to significantly reduce or eliminate environmental costs, improve environmental performance, and gain competitive advantage.
Business Researcher's Interests
The Business Researcher's Interests is a searchable knowledge map of Contemporary Business, Management and Information Technology issues. It contains thousands of resources on some of the hottest issues of interest to Business, Technology and Information professionals.
Best Practices/Lessons Learned
Department Of Energy Lessons Learned
This site provides information regarding the facilitation of sharing organizational, programmatic, and project related information while focusing on improving safety, achieving cost savings, and maximizing effectiveness. Lessons Learned Sources include: DOE Organizational Activities, DOE Contractor/Sub-Contractor Activities, and other Government & commercial activities.
Acquisition Best Practices
The Aquisitions Best Practices site allows you to search and retrieve the aquisition/ procurement best practices collected over the past year.
EM IGCE Policy
Other Useful Links
Department of Energy - Chief Financial Office's Homepage
This website allows users to access budget and other financial policy information.
This link allows you to access information on DOE contracts.
Search DOE Hqs. CallUp Directory
Search telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for Department of Energy government and contractor personnel.
FedWorld Home Page
The FedWorld Information Network provides General Information Services, links to FedWorld-Hosted Web Sites, and further information regarding U.S. Government Information Services.
The Superintendent of Documents' Home Page on the U.S. Government Printing Office Web Site provides free access to Electronic Government Information Products, links to Federal Web Sites hosted by GPO Access and the Federal Depository Library Program.