25. Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis
A Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) provides assistance in
determining whether a desired weapon system is economically feasible while
still being capable of completing its mission. It does this by providing a
solid framework for evaluating the alternatives, and by highlighting the
implications of alternative choices. For a successful COEA, it is essential
- Compare equal-cost or equal-effectiveness alternatives.
- Show the absolute values of measures by making the facts available and
visible for each alternative.
- Never use schemes in which several measures of effectiveness are
weighted and combined into an overall score.
- Use ratios only where appropriate – ratios may ignore sufficiency and
mask important differences.
- Point out dominance relationships.
- Identify the more effective alternatives that are roughly equivalent in
cost, and the less costly alternatives that are about equal in
- Identify alternatives with comparable costs and effectiveness that are
weaker with regard to the more important (or more frequent) objectives, and
those that incur risks without producing compensating benefits.
- Highlight factors that may help in ranking the remaining
- Re-examine the base case alternative in light of the new insights. It
may be better than what was first perceived, or it may have turned out to be
a poor choice, making unattractive alternatives appear quite