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I hope you have enjoyed my series of blogs on the Four Pillars of Affordability. I have tried to impart to you what I have learned during my 30 years in the Defense Industry and the last 25 years as an Affordability Manager and cost estimator. The purpose of the Four Pillars of Affordability is to enable you, and your program, to develop a product for your customer that is considered affordable and ultimately, a value to them. My definition of Affordability is: Affordability is the process that balances performance with price to meet customer needs. A product is ...
When first creating your resume it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Personally, I would start by opening a Word Document and look through the pre-created templates. These templates help guide you to the best place to insert your information and provide an overall layout of a good resume. The same thing happens when you open TruePlanning® to create your first cost estimate. Like the pre-created templates in Microsoft Word, our templates were created by our cost research team to provide you with a guide on how to get started on your estimate. One of the templates we ...
In my first blog of this series I introduced you to the Four Pillars of the Affordability Process. They are: 1.       Management Support 2.       Methodology 3.       Training 4.       Tools/Automation In this fifth blog I write about the Fourth Pillar; Tools/Automation, teaching you what I have learned over the past 25 years as an Affordability Manager and Cost Estimator. Now that Management Support is in place, a written Methodology has been published giving Affordability the legitimacy it needs, responsibilities delineated, and templates to follow, and both Management and Design IPT Members have been trained, it is time to focus on the tools, automation, and support personnel ...
As most of the Summer Olympics occurred during the work week, it was hard to stay on top of the results and the big ordeal of how many medals Phelps has now. But luckily, Google makes it very easy to stay up to date with each of the games results because Google’s web crawling bot, named “Googlebot” not only finds pages the most relevant to your search but also “discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.” (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182072). So when you Google, “Total number of medals that Michael Phelps has won,” one of the first ...
In my first blog of this series I introduced you to the Four Pillars of the Affordability Process. They are: 1.       Management Support 2.       Methodology 3.       Training 4.       Tools/Automation In this fourth blog I will provide you with the benefit of my insight and years of experience by writing about the Third Pillar; Training. Once Management Support has been obtained (The Key) and a written Methodology (The Heart) published to breathe life into the process it’s time to train management and the members of Design Integrated Product Teams (IPT) in Affordability Methodology and its application at the program and IPT levels. Affordability training is best focused ...
The system engineer (SE) is responsible for the technical aspects of the project that includes working with the architecture, design, and integration teams.  SE develops a workable system solution that is capable of meeting the customer requirements.  The project manager (PM) is responsible for the programmatic elements of the project that include the schedule, budget, and staffing.  The PM also manages customer expectations and provide status reports.  The two roles require close collaboration.  The common elements between the two, referred to as SEPM, are requirements development, customer interaction, and risk management.  Due to these overlapping elements, an allocation between ...
A recent discussion with family and friends regarding customer service steered me to write this blog.  We determined that the “human” touch is almost extinct in today’s high technology, hurried world.  It is often difficult to get a living, breathing person to help you when you have a questions or concern with a product you purchased.  It appears that the bottom line has become the driver and ultimate decision maker for businesses. I was excited to share that I work for a company that still believes that customer service is the bottom line and that the “human” touch is ...
For those reading from my last post, let’s say you wanted to use one of our templates to model your own project. The project in question is an aircraft in the development phase and you know nothing except for its overall desired weight and its intended max speed is Mach 3. Let’s search in the PRICE server: After entering the “aircraft” category, you will see a wide assortment of aircraft related projects. Since we are trying to estimate a supersonic aircraft, click the “Aircraft Template 881C” project. The project was constructed based on our research of supersonic fighter aircraft, which ...
The 881C templates have been desired heavily by PRICE users long before PRICE even knew who I was. Now that I’m here, have a year under my belt, and have the template number approaching the century mark, I think it’s time I updated everyone on what’s going on and the plan moving forward. First off, let’s take a minute to fill everyone in. The PRICE templates are based on the widely used MIL STD 881C product breakdown structures. In other words, these templates are projects that the cost research team made in TruePlanning® to model helicopters, fighter jets, battleships, tanks, ...
In my first blog of this series I introduced you to the Four Pillars of the Affordability Process. They are: Management Support Methodology Training Tools/Automation In this third blog I will give you the benefit of my insight and experience by writing specifically about the Second Pillar; Methodology. In my experience it is a written Affordability Methodology that is the heart of the Affordability Process. The Methodology breathes life into the process and details the specific requirements to implement and make an Affordability effort successful. A written Affordability Methodology does ...