Cost Insights
by PowerAdvocate

Intelligence for energy companies seeking a data-driven approach to cost management

The 5 Insights from the GAO's Cost Estimating Guide You Need to Act On Now

February 4, 2015 at 1:53 PM / by PowerAdvocate

In our peer learning series, we search for the best insights for the midstream industry from outside the midstream industry, with the goal of facilitating inter-industry learning and bringing the innovation of your peers to bear on your daily challenges.  In this week’s installment, you’ll learn about the 5 insights the private sector can gain from the GAO’s guide to cost estimating best practices. 


If there’s one group in the world that knows about precision and accuracy, it’s the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Tasked with the impossible mission of overseeing all congressional activity, the GAO has built a niche of expertise around ensuring accuracy, standardization, and accountability.

So when we saw the GAO’s Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide, we knew it would lay out a more comprehensive, more standardized, and more consistent approach to estimation than anything we’d see in the private sector.

After scavenging all 440 pages for the very best insights, we distilled the massive tome into its one resonating theme:

"Data are the foundation of
every cost estimate"

But the GAO knows more than anyone that data is little more than digits on a page unless held accountable to standards of correctness and accuracy. That’s why they emphasize that “depending on the data quality, an estimate can range anywhere from a mere guess to a highly defensible cost position.”

Let’s take a deeper look at the 5 characteristics the GAO believes are essential to all project data and show you the tools to turn your estimates from “mere guesses” into “highly defensible cost positions.”

GAO Cost Estimating Data Tips

Curious about creating better project estimates?

Source: GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs

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