Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Brandon M. Lucas, PhD


This research involves the analysis of standard parametric cost factors across decades within the Production phase of Department of Defense (DoD) acquisitions. DoD cost estimators utilize factors to develop budgets, build cost estimates, measure program progress, and crosscheck for other estimating methodologies. This research analyzed contract data from 732 cost data summary reports (DD Form 1921) across seven decades and eight common work breakdown structure (WBS) elements. In addition to analyzing differences in these WBS elements, this research also provides analysis across decades for several commodity types, contract types, contractor types, and service branches. The statistical tests conducted in our analysis revealed which decades within our designated subcategories were dissimilar. These statistical tests determined which decades’ factors were significantly different from other decades. Results of our testing show possible trends within the data implying that certain decades might not be representative of the WBS element or subcategory. This research fills a research gap on the topic by looking at Production data and providing recommended decades that may be appropriate for future factor building. Analysts use data available to them to build or justify factors in their cost estimates and this research provides an empirical framework suggesting which decades from which analysts may reference for inclusion in their cost factors. migration.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release: 88ABW-2023-0240