Guidelines for Planning the Cost Analysis of Active/Reserve Force Structure Change

by Michael G. Shanley

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This report presents a set of guidelines for fully defining force structure changes and for planning the execution of cost analyses involving force structure change. The guidelines are presented in the form of a "generic" question list designed to extract the critical information missing from a vaguely worded force structure alternative. The report explains the rationale for each question, suggests procedures for determining answers, and provides examples to illustrate how those answers can affect cost. The full question list is divided into three subject areas. First, a series of questions has been designed to extract the exact force structure change. A second set of questions addresses the transition tasks associated with the implementation of a proposed change. The third set of questions identifies those changes in resource and activity levels that drive cost. With even qualitative answers to the questions contained in this report, the analyst can identify the full scope of a force structure change and the major cost-driving factors that are likely to influence the final results. With that information, the analyst can either plan the detailed work of a longer cost analysis or properly qualify (by the highlighting of critical assumptions) the results of an immediately required cost estimate.

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