Should-Cost Management Tactics
Defense Acquisition University Fort Belvoir United States
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Experienced acquisition professionals are familiar with the various types and accuracy of program cost estimates. The should-cost concept asks the program manager PM to look at these estimates differently. Rather than accepting the estimates as foregone conclusions, the core principle of the BBP should-cost is to ask the PM to adopt a different mindset toward cost estimates. Under BBP, programs must continuously fight to lower costs wherever and whenever that makes sense. While lowering cost is a primary objective, a program should not trade away proven practices just to reduce near-term costs. A PM must retain a long-term view. The right mindset means looking for savings throughout a programs life cycle, not only in development and production, but also during the Operations and Support O and S phase. Finally, a should-cost mindset focuses the entire program office team on delivering the required capabilityno more and no lessto the warfighter on time and within budget.