General Information

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NSLS-II Project Schedule

Major Milestone Event
Major Milestone Event Preliminary Schedule
CD-0 (approve Mission Need) 4th quarter, FY2005
CD-1 (approve Alternative Selection and Cost Range) 4th quarter, FY2007
CD-2 (approve Performance Baseline) 1st quarter, FY2008
CD-3 (approve Start of Construction) 2nd quarter, FY2009
CD-4 (approve Start of Operations) FY2015

Critical Decisions

The five Critical Decisions are major milestones approved by the Secretarial Acquisition Executive or Acquisition Executive that establish the mission need, recommended alternative, Acquisition Strategy, the Performance Baseline, and other essential elements required to ensure that the project meets applicable mission, design, security, and safety requirements. Each Critical Decision marks an increase in commitment of resources by the Department and requires successful completion of the preceding phase or Critical Decision.

CD-0, Approve Mission Need

The Initiation Phase begins with the identification of a mission-related need. A Program identifies a credible performance gap between its current capabilities and capacities and those required to achieve the goals articulated in its strategic plan and/or in the DOE Target Enterprise Architecture for IT capital asset projects.. A Mission Need Statement is the translation of this gap into functional requirements that cannot be met through other than material means. It should describe the general parameters of the project, how it fits within the mission of the Program, and why it is critical to the overall accomplishment of the Department mission, including the benefits to be realized. The mission need is independent of a particular solution, and should not be defined by equipment, facility, technological solution, or physical end-item. This approach allows the Program the flexibility to explore a variety of solutions and not limit potential solutions. Approval of CD-0 formally establishes a project and begins the process of conceptual planning and design used to develop alternative concepts and functional requirements. Additionally, CD-0 approval allows the Program to request Project Engineering and Design funds for use in preliminary design, final design, and baseline development.

CD-1, Approve Alternative Selection and Cost Range

CD-1 approval marks the completion of the project Definition Phase, during which time the conceptual design is developed. This is an iterative process to define, analyze, and refine project concepts and alternatives. This process uses a systems methodology that integrates requirements analysis, risk identification and analysis, acquisition strategies, and concept exploration to evolve a cost-effective, preferred solution to meet a mission need. Approval of CD-1 provides the authorization to begin the project Execution Phase and allows Project Engineering and Design funds to be used. For design-build projects, Project Engineering and Design funds may be used to develop a Statement of Work/Request for Proposal. Additionally, long-lead procurements may be approved during this phase, provided National Environmental Policy Act documentation is prepared, where applicable.

CD-2, Approve Performance Baseline

Completion of preliminary design is the first major milestone in the project Execution Phase. Preliminary design is complete when it provides sufficient information for development of the Performance Baseline in support of CD-2. The Performance Baseline is developed based on a mature design, a well-defined and documented scope, a resource-loaded detailed schedule, a definitive cost estimate, and defined Key Performance Parameters. Approval of CD-2 authorizes submission of a budget request for the total project cost. For projects with design periods less than 18 months, a budget request may be submitted prior to CD-2 approval as part of tailoring.

CD-3, Approve Start of Construction

With design and engineering essentially complete, a final design review performed, all environmental and safety criteria met, and all security concerns addressed, the project is ready to begin construction, implementation, procurement, or fabrication. CD-3 provides authorization to complete all procurement and construction and/or implementation activities and initiate all acceptance and turnover activities. Approval of CD-3 authorizes the project to commit all the resources necessary, within the funds provided, to execute the project.

CD-4, Approve Start of Operations or Project Completion

CD-4 marks the achievement of the completion criteria defined in the Project Execution Plan and approval of transition to operations. This decision is predicated on the readiness to operate and/or maintain the system, facility, or capability. Transition and turnover does not necessarily terminate all project activity. Rather, it marks a point at which the operations organizations assume responsibility for operation and maintenance. All projects must have a project transition/closeout plan that clearly defines the basis for attaining initial or full operating capability or meeting performance criteria as required for project closeout, as applicable. The key attributes in turnover are the Governments readiness to operate, the ability to assume operational responsibility, and the acceptance of the asset.

Last Modified: April 2, 2013
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