• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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Original Post Date: October 8, 2015 Excel is easily the most common and widely used tool in the Cost Estimation universe. It can be used as a scratch pad, report generator, import/export vehicle, data repository as well as countless other applications. The Excel / TruePlanning interface is one of the first topics new users want to dive into. Currently TruePlanning can export and import Excel files directly, create reports in Excel and has two Excel based solutions for working with TruePlanning directly in Excel. The ‘big gun’ of the Excel interfaces is the “Excel Solution”. It is a macro enabled ...
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: July 1, 2015   Introduction The latest version of PRICE’s “Large Project Engine” allows users to update the values in calculators through Excel. While calculators are designed to be easy to use and user friendly, there are times when it is convenient to update the data in a calculator in Excel. The following blog will provide details on how to do this. This blog assumes users have installed the “LPE”. The LPE’s installation files are available on the TruePlanning installation media. The LPE is an Excel plug-in which means it will create a menu in Excel which is always ...
Original Post Date: July 1, 2015   Introduction A new version of PRICE’s Excel Add-in for TruePlanning, the Large Project Engine (LPE) has been created that allows users to select TruePlanning project files as well as projects in the database.   Usage When selecting a behavior in the LPE that targets a TruePlanning project, users can now pick TruePlanning project files (*.tpprj) files as well as TruePlanning projects that are stored in the database. Operations that support this can be identified by the small down arrow in the ribbon menu buttons which indicates a ‘split button’. When the buttons are used, users are given ...
Original Post Date: July 1, 2015 Introduction                Consumers of cost estimates need to understand how risk  and uncertainty impacts their estimates and, as such, performing Monte Carlo analysis is becoming a required step in producing a cost estimate at many organizations. One of the most popular Monte Carlo tools is Oracle’s Crystal Ball and PRICE has produced an Excel based solution that allows users to perform Monte Carlo analysis on their TruePlanning estimates. With this combined solution users can run risk/uncertainty analysis on their parametric estimates using an industry standard tool. The Issue In the TruePlanning/Crystal Ball solution, users select TruePlanning ...
I wanted to share a spreadsheet I’ve put together that helps with learning curve calculations and pulling out multiple production lot data showing the learning effects.  It provides useful lot information such as lot average unit cost and lot total costs with the effects of learning curves, escalation, and everything else factored in.  It also has a tab for doing some basic learning curve calculations in multiple lot scenarios by hand and viewing a set of useful metrics. We want all of this kind of information to be available in TruePlanning for the next release.  We’ll have new multiple production ...
Introduction Phoenix Integration’s ModelCenter application provides users an environment where they can mix a variety of software applications together to perform analysis and trade-off studies.  PRICE’s TruePlanning cost estimation software was one of the first application to have a dedicated plug-in created to be used in ModelCenter. This document provides guidance on how to install and use the TruePlanning plug-in for ModelCenter. For more information on using the ModelCenter application, please consult the ModelCenter documentation. Installation Versions: TruePlanning versions are considered independent applications and can be installed ‘side by side’. The same is true for the TruePlanning plug-in to ModelCenter.  As seen ...
In my last blog we considered nine characteristics of a credible cost estimate and identified the ones in which shortfalls were most frequent in my experience as a senior reviewer of Army cost estimates.  In this blog, I will address the clear identification of task, and thoughts to reduce the chance of shortfalls of this characteristic. Clear identification of task, as described in the March 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide.  Estimator must be provided with the system description, ground rules and assumptions, and technical and performance characteristics Estimate's ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 The first time I remember hearing the term, “data driven estimating,” was at an ISPA/SCEA conference in Phoenix about 6 years ago. I thought I had a pretty good concept of what that meant. Then, I started hearing it more frequently about 6 to 9 months ago, and I wasn’t as sure of my understanding. So, I went to the Internet and Googled, “Data Driven Estimating.”  The first 3 pages yield links to statistical, engineering, and technical estimating founded on data; e.g. packet routing, data delivery rate, radar and rain gage data, ...
Original Post Date: Friday, July 9, 2010  While sitting in the operatory chair yesterday, my dentist said something that made me stop. He was complaining about an increasing rate of incompetence and apathy he observes in those delivering services to him. And while I do agree with him in principal, he and I are of the age where some folks label us as grumpy old men. So, it may not be as bad as we think. Regardless, the statement he said he made to the an unfortunate poor-quality service provider was, “If you don’t have the time to do it ...