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Original Post Date: Friday, September 2, 2011  The IEEE published “Top 11 Technologies of the Decade” in the  January 2011 editions of the IEEE Spectrum magazine.  It should come to a surprise to no one that the Smartphone was number 1 on this list.  The answer to the author’s question “Is your phone smarter than a fifth grader” was a resounding YES![1]   In 1983 Motorola introduced the first hand hell cellular phone.  It weighed in at two and a half pounds, had memory capacity for 30 phone numbers, took 10 hours to recharge and had a selling price of $4000 ...
Original Post Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011 A Bell 430 Helicopter's rear blade spins 1884 times per minute; how many times for the main blade?  Submit your estimate in the comments section!
Original Post Date: Monday, August 1, 2011 After many years of working with systems engineers and design engineers it became apparent to me that the cost of the system they were designing / building mostly seemed to be an after thought. Maybe not by the Lead Systems Engineer or Program Manager but certainly down in the trenches. The engineers working at the subsystem, component, and element levels always expressed frustration with having too much to think about to add one more variable, such as cost estimation, to their work load. I posit that this can no longer be the case. In ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Electronics Complexity and Quality Levels…   The PRICE Calculator for Electronics Manufacturing Complexity, shown below, has a subtle but very powerful feature for Quality Adjustment, based on Mil-Hdbk-217E Quality Levels.    The above shows “None” which yields the standard MCPLXE, in this case a 8.07 value applying 100% Large Scale Integrated Circuits for Display (with CRT) equipment as an example. Yet, in the course of estimating a mission-critical automatic tester  with multiple controller-card assemblies for an airborne-military platform, I adjusted for more stringent quality levels—specifically “S-1” level consistent with Mil-Std-975/ Mil-Std-1547 per below.   Note that ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 How many golf balls would it take to circle the Earth at the equator?  Submit your estimate in the comments section!
Original Post Date: Monday, July 11, 2011 There is a ton of code out there and we’re constantly adding more.  Gartner reported in 2009 that there were more than 310 billion lines of code in use worldwide. MS Word has grown from 27,000 lines of code in the first version to about 2 million in 2010.  The Windows Operating System grew from 3 million lines of code in 1992 to 20 Million in 1998.  You get the point – there’s lots of code out there doing lots of the same things that we may want our software to do. One ...
Original Post Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011  What percent of active U.S. military personnel are from the Marine Corps?  Submit your estimate in the comments section!
Original Post Date: Friday, June 17, 2011  Building transparency and traceability into your estimating process leads to more defendable estimates and we can help you do that. We will demonstrate how historical data is transformed into predictive models.   You will learn how your data can be synthesized into custom models that can be employed in support of third party models within a single analytical framework. Learn more at our webinar on June 29th @ 11am Eastern.  Reserve your no-charge; no obligation webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/372682434
Original Post Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 At the 2011 ISPA Conference, I conducted a ½ day workshop How To Develop Data-Driven Cost Estimating Relationships  in TruePlanning. The attendees at the workshop learned how to import their own data into TruePlanning and develop custom Cost Estimating Relationships. We covered three case studies:   ·         In the UCAS case study we demonstrated how we can build CERs at a higher level to provide a test of reasonableness to the CAPE. ·         In the SRDR case study we demonstrated how we develop a CER to estimate SLOC based on historical data and use the results ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 While teaching an introductory TruePlanning for Software Estimating course this week at an Army location, I was asked to follow up with a clarification on “percent adapted” calculation.  The official PRICE training materials definitions are:   • Percent of Design Adapted - the percentage of the existing (adapted code) design that must change to enable the adapted code to function and meet the software project requirements;   • Percent of Code Adapted - the percentage of the adapted code that must change to enable the adapted code to function and meet the software project requirements.   The former, Design, ...