• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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Original Post Date: July 2, 2015 One topic we’re focusing on for the next version of TruePlanning is supporting a variety of methods for estimating an activity.  For example, we currently have sophisticated algorithms supporting our estimation of spare units/modules/parts, which depend on characteristics of the item, as well as the operating and support (O&S) scenario described.  However, there are often good reasons for wanting to use a different method to estimate these costs, and we’d like to give users the ability to pick from a variety of methods. Many users want to be able to estimate initial spares costs before ...
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 ...
Original Post Date: June 29, 2015 Regarding the special case where a Module _only_ integrates commodity (thru-put) components that themselves have no modification/development requirements, I would like to share a recent “lessons learned” in implementing our MicroCircuits catalog. Typically, for actual module development, TruePlanning calculates hours typically as the sum of the cells, modified by the component pins, modified by the area of the module, modified by the layers of the board.  This special case scenario is clearly a case where development labor at the module level is limited to placing/connecting various active elements on the board, including connecting elements between ...
Original Post Date: June 25, 2015 Additive Manufacturing (or 3D Printing) is a set of manufacturing processes that are rapidly increasing in popularity and cost-effectiveness.  In Additive Manufacturing, digital 3D design data is used to build up a component by adding layer upon layer of material.   Many existing cost estimating relationships (CERs) are based on traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, where you often begin with a larger piece of material, and remove the unwanted sections, leaving behind the desired part.  These CERs may not accurately predict additively manufactured part costs, so PRICE is focusing research efforts in this area. There are many ...
Original Post Date: June 19, 2015 Ward Cunningham introduced the notion of technical debt in 1992, writing “Shipping first time code is like going into debt.  A little debt speeds up development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite”.  Technical debt can be described as a quantification of the amount of ‘should fix’ issues that remain in production code.  The term “technical debt” is a metaphor used to ease business leaders understanding of the costs of making poor decisions during development or making wise decisions during development (such as a short cut to meet a time ...
Original Post Date: June 18, 2015 There is a movement afoot suggesting that there may be compelling reasons for employees to use their own technology (phones, laptops, tablets) in the workplace.  And it may actually be a movement inspired by employees not employers.  A recent survey (http://www.zdnet.com/article/research-74-percent-using-or-adopting-byod/) found that 74% of employers are allowing (or plan to allow in the near future) employees to use their Personal Mobile Devices (PMDs) for business purposes.  The benefits to the employee of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) include the convenience of not having to lug around personal and business devices, the ability to ...
Original Post Date: April 27, 2015 An Excel-based Pivot Table consolidates and summarizes data, with the flexibility of changing the order of organization – typically for sorting/aggregating subtotals by multiple designated dimensions.  For example, the below shows two different orderings.  The Left output sorts by Activity, then Object then Resource; the Right output sorts by Resource, then Activity then Object— But what about aligning the objects displayed in the same order as originally in the TruePlanning PBS?  In this blog, we will learn how to control and re-arrange output ordering.  As we learned in the first Pivot Table blog, begin by ...
Original Post Date: April 27, 2015 Check out this article ‘Pizza as a Service’ (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140730172610-9679881-pizza-as-a-service) which uses Pizza to describe the different delivery models for cloud computing.  It presents a good case that should be understandable to anyone who has ever eaten a pizza and should provide a great guide to organizational decision makers when considering cloud solutions for their business.  The author uses pizza analogies to describe Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (Saas) in an effort to provide non-technical folks a way to think about cloud computing options ...