Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

R. David Fass, PhD


This research compares the efficacy of subject matter expert (SME) elicitation methods to other cost estimation methods using a development and production dataset provided by AFLCMC/FZC. First, by using descriptive statistics to evaluate low versus high amount of the respective cost estimation methods by analyzing the means of percent cost growth for both groups. Next, this research involved using a statistics-based approach to investigate whether SME based cost estimating methods have an associated relationship to percent change of Program Acquisition Unit Costs (PAUC), which will be our proxy variable to cost growth. Using a pooled cross-sectional OLS regression analysis model with adjusted R2 of 0.298, 144 POEs sample for development have statistical evidence to support SME based cost estimates have a positive association with Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC). Lastly, this research critically examines SME elicitation methods used within DoD and provides best practices used by industry and academia when eliciting SMEs that the cost estimating community should consider implementing.

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