Original Post Date: Friday, February 11, 2011

The DoD Cost Analysis Symposium (DODCAS 2011) is next week, Feb 15-18.  I’ll be there along with several of my colleagues at PRICE Systems.  This conference consistently provides an excellent source of information and shared experiences for the acquisition community and I am anxious to attend again this year. 

Last year the conference occurred shortly after Congress passed the Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA) - and the majority of the sessions were focused on discussions about how the services, contractors and the government leadership planned on dealing with this new law.  From the agenda, it looks like this year there will be much discussion of how these plans were executed; what worked and what didn’t.   Topics range from will cost and should cost analysis, cost efficiencies, earned value management, quality data, affordability analysis, and other topics of interest to the acquisition community.

There will be an address by the Honorable Christine Fox, Director of the OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (OSD CAPE) as well as a session with the Cost Directors of each of the Services.  Shortly after her appointment as CAPE Director, Ms. Fox addressed the attendees of DODCAS 2010 with her plans going forward.  She described the US Budget process and illustrated where the CAPE will fit in that process.  She discussed WSARA and its intended benefits and the challenges it presents to the CAPE and the cost community as a whole.   And finally she addressed the issues associated with acquiring, training and retaining the necessary human resources to support the CAPE and the objectives of WSARA.   I found her talk interesting, informative and hugely relevant to what I do every day.  I’m looking forward to her address this year and learning about CAPE successes, challenges and lessons learned.

Have you attended DODCAS recently?  What cost estimating and analysis conferences are the staples in your training budget?