• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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Being that software measurement is a topic of great interest, I will occasionally look to Google for inspiration and trends.  Often these searches will return several of my own papers and it’s fun to revisit them and think about how much as things change, they remain the same. Recently, I stumbled across a paper I had written many years ago – it was in fact the second or third article that I had published in a magazine (see the article here).  I read through it briefly and was really struck by how relevant it still is today.  The paper ...
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 ...
The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) which Congress passed in December of 2014 is touted as the “biggest legislative overhaul in nearly 20 years to the way the federal government procures, budgets and maintains IT”  (read more in this report).  And even in this day and age of extreme political gaming, one issue on which there is consensus in Washington and across the country is the fact that the federal government (and the American people) would certainly benefit by getting their IT house in order.  The act strives to put the authority and responsibility for IT decisions ...
Recently I was asked for more detail about the implementation of COSMIC Function Points as a functional size measure for the software estimation model in TruePlanning® (True S).  Common Software Measurement International Consortium (COSMIC) is a group of software measurement experts who in 1998 recognized the need to improve on the traditional function point methods.  Because the origin of International Function Point User Group (IFPUG) Function Points with IBM, the method tends to favor business systems (though advances have been made to extend IFPUG Function Points with “Software Non-Functional Assessment Process (SNAP) – more on this to come in ...
I have just been perusing the latest issue of Crosstalk – The Journal of Defense Software Engineering.  I always start at the back with Backtalk.  This generally provides a more light-hearted opinion on the current issues theme.  This issues Backtalk (as is true with many issues recently) was authored by David Cook, a professor at Stephen F Austin State University.  This is particularly appropriate because this month’s issue is focused on the state of software education – who better to have an opinion than someone whose job it is to deliver that education. In the article David talks about the ...
Original Post Date: Friday, January 9, 2015 Do you generate cost growth S curves? S-curves and Percentile tables are generated by the Risk tools which can reflect mass growth and growth as modeled in other input uncertainties. Per our discussion, note that NASA typically requires mass growth to reflect Optimistic = CBE, Most Likely = CBE + Contingency and Pessimistic = Most Likely +30%. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
How can I convert space-related PES files to TruePlanning? If you all are still using PRICE-H and not yet using TruePlanning, there are now tools available to fast-forward your file conversions. You have two options:  convert your models to the True-Hardware catalog or to the new Space Catalog. In the latter case, you can also choose to estimate System Level resources per below-- Different NASA Centers and contractors are opting for either approach, depending on their existing methodologies.  If you want to leverage our data-driven CERs for the above categories, then use the Space Catalog. If you do your own “post processing” then either ...
Here’s a great article about technical debt - “How Technical Debt Threatens Your Brain Capital”.  The author focuses not on the principle and interest of the technical debt, but rather the impact that technical debt has on the development team.  The author’s thesis is that one of the not-so-often talked about side effects of unaddressed and lingering technical debt is how its existence begins to chip away at the morale of your team.  If the product owners and the business are constantly choosing short cuts to get features to market without committing enough time to refactor these short-cuts, they are creating ...
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 ...
Use of additive manufacturing (AM) has increased dramatically in the last 10 years, particularly in the automotive, healthcare and aerospace and defense industries.  AM differs from traditional manufacturing processes in that raw materials are slowly added together by a chemical or heat process to form the finished component.  In traditional manufacturing, material is typically removed from a larger piece of raw material until the finished component remains. With the increased use of AM comes an increase in capability, quality, and capacity.  We will examine how additive manufacturing could change the way we estimate compared to traditional manufacturing processes. A key ...