Project Financial Awareness and Cost Modelling


This course provides attendees from within the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO), other government agencies and defence industry with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the issues associated with financial management in the ADO and the use of cost modelling across the Capability Life Cycle (CLC). The associated management frameworks are introduced, as are the various cost modelling techniques.

Delivery mode: Online

What you will receive:

  • Comprehensive electronic course notes
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of attendance

Affiliated courses: CLC Management (3 days), Defence Project Management (3 days), Defence Program Management (2 days), Requirements Practice (5 days), Introduction to Project Management (3 days) & Introduction to Systems Engineering (3 days)


Anyone within Government or industry requiring an understanding of how Defence does business with regard to the capability systems development process, including, but not limited to: business managers, business development managers, contract managers, project managers, capability development staff, systems engineers, and project technical staff.


Module 1: Financial Awareness

Legislative and Policy Overview  

Commonwealth Resource Management Framework | PGPA Act | FINMANs | Defence Policy| Budget and Reporting cycle

Defence Governance Overview

Enterprise Performance Management Framework | Financial and accounting management system | external and internal reporting requirements

Who does What

System of Delegations | Pooled CFO resources | Embedded CFO functions

Financial Management Activities

Budget management | Project accounting and reporting |Financial analysis | Financial compliance and assurance | Payments processing


Module 2: Cost Modelling

Context and Purpose

Use of Cost Modelling across the CLC | Key players | Key References

Cost Modelling Processes

Principles | Different approaches e.g.  7 and 12 step

Cost Modelling Techniques

Analogous | Parametric | Engineering | Actual | Expert

Importance of Data

Where to find it | Adaptation and application | Software Cost Estimation

Range of Analyses to Support Cost Modelling:

Basic | Learning Curve | Regression | Cost risk | Probability and stats | Inflation, discounting, escalation, indexing

Defence Resources and Activities

CEAMOT | Project Controls guidance | Contestability activities


Dr Shari Soutberg has over 30 years experience in Defence, with a focus on materiel acquisition, sustainment, organisational improvement and reform.  Shari is currently an Industry Fellow at the UNSW Capability System Centre.  Significant activities include development of a framework for delivery of joint force outcomes and training courses on capability development practices applicable to Defence.  Prior to this, Shari was the acting Chief Systems Engineer for CASG and a member of the First Principles Review (FPR) Capability Lifecycle (CLC) team which developed capability management reform initiatives.  As Director Systems Engineering and later Director Materiel Engineering in CASG, Shari led the development and implementation of Defence engineering policy and guidance, including fundamental changes arising from the WHS Act 2011.  Shari provided stewardship of the Defence Engineering and Technical Job Family through establishing learning and development structures. She also supported Defence corporate engineering and technical workforce planning including industrial relations engagement.  Whilst in the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Industry, Shari was a significant contributor to the Defence Industry Policy leading to the role of Director Industry Policy. After joining the Department of Defence, Shari worked on maritime platforms and equipment and as a project manager for naval projects.  Shari has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical), Masters of Management Economics, and a Doctor of Philosophy which addressed requirements development in Defence capability management.


11 March 2021
2 November 2021