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EM Applied Cost Engineering (ACE) Team




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:

Mission

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.

Charter

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.

Vision

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

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:

Objectives

The objectives of the ACE Team are to: Make cost estimating an integral part of the EM acquisition and project delivery process.

Rewards

The rewards of the ACE Team activities include:

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.

Operational Approach

  • 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.

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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 Structure

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 for $35.00.

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 for $35.00.