• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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Original Post Date: Monday, September 20, 2010 I have been fortunate in my career to have been associated with some great mentors. Each individual has provided me a bit of a golden nugget to carry with me as I tried to navigate my way through the professional waters. My first “civilian” manager, after I left the service and joined industry, provided me a list of the Laws of Analysis (I had just started a position as an operations research analyst). He explained that this list was a mix of serious and tongue in cheek snippets of wisdom. I looked at ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 In May of this year the Washington Post published an editorial article on the need to reduce waste in the Defense Department. The byline of the article was “Defense Secretary Gates’s war of necessity against wasteful spending.” In this article the writer points out that the secretary is taking on the challenge of maintaining our military force [at reasonable level of effectiveness] during a time in which the President and Congress are seeking cost savings / reductions based on the decrease in our presence in Iraq.  Mr. Gates goal is to look for efficiencies ...
Original Post Date: Monday, November 8, 2010  Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in 1878 in her book Molly Bawn coined the phrase …”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This concept of the “value of beauty” has been expressed by others such as:    Benjamin Frankin in Poor Richards Almanack 1741 when he wrote;                 “Beauty, like supreme dominion                 Is but supported by opinion” David Hume in Moral and Political 1742 “Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.”   So what does this have to do with Cost Benefit? Well Merriam-Webster dictionary defines benefit as something that provides useful aid. Inherent in the term “useful” is ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 To me the greatest strength of TruePlannning®  is its flexibility and wide range of parameters. AND, to me the greatest weakness of TruePlanning®  is its’ flexibility and wide range of parameters. The nature of the TruePlanning® framework, the idea of cost catalogs with cost objects, and the implementation of activity based costing allows or provides for a wide range of solutions to our cost estimating requirements. TruePlanning’s ® ability to address a wide range of cost problems lies in its flexibility and extensibility. The clever use of worksheets, multipliers, and the product breakdown ...
The CRASH (CAST Research on Application Software Health) report for 2104/2015 is out and an Executive Summary can be downloaded for free from this link.  This is the third biennial report produced by CAST based on an analysis of the data collected by their  AppMarq static code analysis tool to develop a report on the health of software projects based on their structural quality.  Structural quality speaks to the engineering goodness of the architecture and code for an application, rather than the functional quality that results by delivering software that solves users’ problems.  CAST determines structural quality of code ...
Am I correct in understanding that in order to determine Payload PM, SE, MA [e.g., WBS 5.1, 5.2, 5.3], Payload I&T/GSE [e.g., WBS 5.5, 5.6], Spacecraft PM, SE, MA [e.g., WBS 6.1, 6.2, 6.3], and Spacecraft I&T/GSE [e.g., WBS 6.6] costs, each user must export TP results into an Excel spreadsheet, then apply their own factor to obtain the aforementioned WBS costs because TP lumps all of those costs into 1 PM bucket, 1 SE bucket, 1 MA bucket and 1 I&T bucket? And we have to do this every time we make a change to determine those costs? Gosh ...
From the presentation, it looked like the TP risk area included the capability for percent inputs around the point inputs rather than having to enter value? Yes, we’ve added Percent (as well as offset) to the FRISK input method to set pessimistic and optimistic values off the point values.  In the 1st example below I’ve used +20% and -10% respectively, around the Weight of Structure’s point’s value.  Per the 2nd example below, we can do likewise in our Monte Carlo companion applications, where our new custom logic satisfies NASA’s typical approach for mass growth-risk with Optimistic=CBE {i.e., your point value}, ...
Does any of the Space catalogs (objects) cover the launch vehicle and stage 1 & 2 engines?  Do the defaults cover manned space? Not, not soon at least.  HOWEVER, we and multiple NASA Centers have used the True-Hardware/Software catalogs for many years to estimate launch vehicles and manned vehicles.  Currently the Space Missions Catalog objects (i.e., estimating models) support robotic and unmanned missions.  But again, in the TruePlanning catalogs (HW, SW, Systems, etc), there has always been an Operating Specification choice for manned space per below— To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Will other recent programs be added (to basis/analysis/CERs)? Yes, typically within one year of launch. We don’t often need to make changes to the component estimates but we test them as new data comes in. The support functions get minor tweaks each time we add another data point. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.
Do you plan to add MAVEN any time soon? Just learned that yes, Maven will be added to the basis & analysis in the near future. To watch the "Best Practices using the TruePlanning Space Missions" Webinar, click here.