What Are Cost Engineering & Total Cost Management?
AACE International's Recommended Practice 11R-88, Required Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering, provides some answers which are excerpted here. Beyond being a guiding document for AACE International’s education and certification developments, 11R-88 is an excellent reference for industry core competency and career model development.
Cost Engineering is the application of scientific principles and techniques to problems of estimation; cost control; business planning and management science; profitability analysis; project management; and planning and scheduling.
Total Cost Management
Total cost management is that area of engineering practice where engineering judgment and experience are used in the application of scientific principles and techniques to problems of business and program planning; cost estimating; economic and financial analysis; cost engineering; program and project management; planning and scheduling; cost and schedule performance measurement, and change control.
Simply stated, it is a systematic approach to managing cost throughout the life cycle of any enterprise, program, facility, project, product, or service. This is accomplished through the application of cost engineering and cost management principles, proven methodologies, and the latest technology in support of the management process.