Daily Archives: 2013-03-20

Cost As an Independent Variable (CAIV)

[Intelink-U mirror]

What the heck is CAIV?

CAIV is an idea that when buying systems, Cost should be treated As an Independent Variable (CAIV). The concept and term were popularized in the 1990s Defense Acquisition Reform efforts, and (I think) comes from the Military Operations Research community.

Traditionally, there is a waterfall-like process for buying things in the military: first, ask the “warfighter” what they need, and they come up with requirements. Then figure out what that costs, ask Congress for the money, and build it.

Wait, what? The users decide what they think they need, before considering how much it will cost? How does that work? Continue reading