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Original Post Date: October 8, 2015 The TruePlanning’s plug-in to Model Center has had an update to fix some issues that were found with the plug-in. - Removed extra elements that had been appearing the Model Center’s Model tree. Users were finding that as they worked with the TruePlanning plug-in, elements from the selected TruePlanning project were appearing in the Model tree with zero values. - The error displayed when the plug-in is used with a TruePlanning database with no projects saved was updated to clearly indicate that there were no projects in the database. - Links created between the TruePlanning plug-in elements ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 ‘It’s crazy to think that you’ll be good at estimating things that haven’t happened yet, if you can’t even accurately say how long things that have happened took.”  This quote from the blog post “5 Ways Software Developers Can Become Better at Estimation” (http://www.javacodegeeks.com/2014/10/5-ways-software-developers-can-become-better-at-estimation.html)  speaks volumes.  The current mantra – at least in the Aerospace and Defense communities is data driven estimation.  Estimates without solid project history data to back them up are consistently rejected or approved with substantial risk assigned.  Data collection in the world of estimation is no longer a nice to ...
Original Post date: September 30, 2015 I recently read an interesting article in IEEE Spectrum “The 2015 Top Ten Programming Languages” (http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-2015-top-ten-programming-languages).  The article fairly states that popularity of a programming language is clearly subjective – depending on what the goals of the end user are but they tried to adjust their weightings based on their perception of the interests of the members of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Many of the results of their ranking were expected and not particularly interesting.  Java, C, C++, C# and Python continue to be the top 5 programming languages that developers ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of things (people, objects, animals, etc) that can share data without human to human or human to machine interactions.  A ‘thing’ in the IoT represents any object that can be assigned an IP address and can transfer data over a network.  Examples of such objects include an animal with a microchip embedded in its collar to monitor health or for easy location, a person wearing an activity tracker, a person with a medical implant that communicates health conditions to a hospital or health care professional, a ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 I was asked recently to provide insight on where & how some of customer organizations utilize PRICE in instituting a “Center of Excellence” using our software toolsets.  Of course, I’ll keep the names generic as you hopefully learn more from two instances where we are quite proud of their progress incorporating our tools into their workflows and business practices.  Below are two examples. A major military/commercial aerospace company has relied upon PRICE software as its primary estimating toolset for over 25 years.  Its Affordability Analysis group is recognized and utilized as the company’s lead in parametric ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 One of our larger commercial customers asked for the ability to estimate the “learned out” Nth unit.   As always, we are here to hear you and your immediate needs.  Still in beta-test, the following is our pending new solution.  But we’d like to hear from you too here. On the "Metrics" tab, there will be an output called "Cost of Nth Unit".  This new value represents the theoretical cost of the Nth production unit, based on learning curve calculations— unless you override with your own curve values.  You will see this learned-out unit cost at ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 If you’ve ever taken one of my classes, you know how much the Find & Replace function “is my friend.”  Well, it just got a lot more flexible and powerful.  Thanks to your requests (especially by NASA), we’ve added a number of new features and utility functions within the tool.   o Easy Access:   You can now access F&R from any of the input sheets, as well as from the attributes tab and within editing a worksheet set.  Simply right click an item’s Value cell and select the F&R option. o  Multiple F&R:  You can ...
Original Post Date: June 29, 2015 I read an article this week, called “7 Questions to Answer when making bid/no bid decisions” by Bob Lohfeld on WashingtonTechnology.com, and it really hit home with my past experiences estimating on the contractor side of things.  He talks about why some companies have higher win rates than others, and how it’s really all related to the decision making process.  Why do organizations choose to bid on projects, and why would they choose not to bid?  In some cases, choosing not to bid on a risky project will save tons of time and energy ...
Original Post Date: June 2, 2015 At PRICE Systems, we always tout that calibration of past actual cost and schedule data is the best way to get to an accurate, data-driven estimate.  I received a call recently to see if we have a set of best practices for calibration, but in reality the calibration process itself is a fairly simple process, it’s the data collection and normalization that happens before the calibration step that is really important.  This is partly because the assumptions you make when collecting the data and building the calibration file should drive how you use the ...
Original Post Date: 05/15/2015 The Space Missions Catalog for TruePlanning has been out in the field now for over 6 months now, and as estimators get to understand these new cost objects, many questions arise.  As you may know, the Space Missions Catalog was designed to estimate the total cost (or price) of NASA Robotic Earth and Space Science Missions, and while it is very valuable to understand the total expected cost of a mission, you always want more details.  In the case of Space Missions, one often heard question is, “How much of this is associated with the NASA ...