• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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It is common for consumers of TruePlanning Cost Analysis to request some type of uncertainty analysis and this is frequently a request for an 80% confidence level report. TruePlanning can produce an uncertainty report and provide confidence levels, but some organizations have a prescribed method for generating uncertainty analysis based on the use of Monte Carlo. Many of these organizations use @Risk to perform Monte Carlo analysis. TruePlanning has an integration with TruePlanning so TruePlanning users can satisfy the development of an 80% confidence level base on inputs in TruePlanning projects. Recently a customer contacted PRICE and indicated that ...
TruePlanningXL is the new Excel based interface to TruePlanning. TruePlanningXL gives uses the ability to work with TruePlanning projects in Excel. This includes allowing users to update inputs, calculate, calibrate and even create new projects. Much of the work performed in Excel on TruePlanning projects involves setting input values. The majority of inputs are single values and are available on the PBS sheet provided by TruePlanningXL. There are, however, some inputs that do not fit well on the PBS sheet: temporal inputs. Temporal inputs are inputs that contains multiple values to reflect values over time. In the TruePlanning application, ...
In my previous blog, I discussed the newly available in TP2016.0 (16.0.6187.2) API feature of calibration. Now reliable and repeatable calibrations can be set up through the TruePlanning API easily and quickly. For most users the standard calibration usage will be all they need. That said, there are some users who would like to use a feature that is available the TruePlanning Calibration GUI: the ability to calibrate multiple inputs in one calibration.  The most common reason to use a constant in a calibration is to find a single value, such as Organizational Productivity, across multiple Cost Objects that yields ...
Of the many features that help TruePlanning stand out as the premier predictive cost analytics tool, TruePlanning’s ability to calibrate is frequently cited by users as the most important feature in TruePlanning. Users can create models that are highly tuned to the organizations and processes that they are modelling. The 50,000-foot description of calibration is to increase the fidelity of a model to a known process or organization by using ‘actuals’ (known result data) and driving TruePlanning inputs so that the known values are obtained. A concrete example would be knowing the number of hours it took create a ...
TrueMapper strives to provide an environment that allows users to be as efficient as possible when creating mappings. Sometimes users need to map all of a specific type of Cost Object, Activity or Resource to specific WBS items. In this case users would use the “Generic” tab of the Mapping Assignment Window. Assignments made from this tab can be stored off in a *.tpgen file and used against any PBS structure. Recently, some TruePlanning users came across a situation where they needed to assign all Resources from specific Cost Objects to a specific WBS element, except one. Those familiar with ...
TruePlanningXL is the TruePlanning/Excel interface reboot. Excel is a popular topic in the PRICE universe because Excel is clearly the most popular tool in the cost analytics quiver. Customers such as the Air Force, Army and the majority of the primary suppliers have processes inextricably based on Excel. One of the primary design goals of TruePlanningXL is for it to be as easy to use as possible. To support this, great effort is being made to study how it is used and improve TruePlanningXL’s usability based on the research. A second primary design goal is for TruePlanningXL to be ...
Calibration is at the heart of cost analytics and TruePlanning’s support for calibration is one of the features that makes the TruePlanning suite of products the premier suite for performing cost analytics. TruePlanning has a built in calibration feature that allows users to set up and perform calibrations repeatedly. Additionally, the Excel based Excel Solution provided by PRICE supports calibration efforts from Excel. The “new for TruePlanning 2016” TruePlanningXL also supports calibration from Excel. TruePlanningXL is a new Excel Add-in provided by PRICE to allow users to work more efficiently in Excel with the suite of TruePlanning products. TruePlanningXL only ...
This June, I presented at the “Government Contract Pricing Summit”. The topic of the presentation was the integration of TruePlanning and ProPricer. The participants of the summit were generally long time ProPricer users, but not familiar with TruePlanning, so it was a great opportunity to be able to meet new pepole in the price/costing world. When talking with long time ProPricer users the question I would ask them was: “Where do the hours come from?”  ProPricer is an industry leading software for the management and production of bids. ProPricer allows users to setup and maintain costing and burdening data, ...
TrueFindings helps users make sense of their data by allowing them to perform analysis that leads to the production of defendable estimates in TruePlanning. TrueFindings simplifies and promotes data management in a repeatable cost analytic-centric process. PRICE is always looking for ways to help users get the most out of the tools it provides. In TruePlanning 2016 PRICE will be providing a new high performance Excel interface and as part of this interface users will be able to move data from TruePlanning projects into an Excel file that can be natively imported by TrueFindings. TruePlanningXL is the new high ...
Fast and efficient are good qualities to strive for whether you are creating super-spies, or selecting a format for transferring data. Jason Bourne excelled at what he did largely because he was able to think quickly and react even more quickly. It was fun to watch him get out of situations using his wits that would have left most of us in the fetal position.  Less exciting, but more pertinent to those of us in the fast paced world of software development, is the need to move large amounts of data between two entities. It could be a RESTful ...
Introduction This document provides instructions on using a TruePlanning / Crystal Ball Solution that was created for a specific PRICE customer. The solution is based in a macro enabled Excel file. It is an enhancement of the generic TruePlanning / Crystal Ball solution and has been created to allow the customer’s personnel too quickly and easily setup and run analysis on TruePlanning projects using Crystal Ball. The customer had very specific requirements regarding the distributions to be used in uncertainty analysis and this tool was developed to allow them to use set the distributions they desired with minimal effort. The customer ...
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: October 8, 2015 Over the last couple of months PRICE has received a number of support calls related to an inability to import or export *.tpprj files from TruePlanning. When an import or export is attempted users are receiving an error indicating a “bad parameter or missing node”. The cause of this error has been a case of a missing XML library known as the MSXML4 library. MSXML4 had been installed as part of Windows operating systems by default for years, but newer versions of XML libraries have been created and are now used exclusively so new installations ...
Original Post Date: October 8, 2015 The TruePlanning’s plug-in to Model Center has had an update to fix some issues that were found with the plug-in. - Removed extra elements that had been appearing the Model Center’s Model tree. Users were finding that as they worked with the TruePlanning plug-in, elements from the selected TruePlanning project were appearing in the Model tree with zero values. - The error displayed when the plug-in is used with a TruePlanning database with no projects saved was updated to clearly indicate that there were no projects in the database. - Links created between the TruePlanning plug-in elements ...
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 ...
TrueMapper now integrates with Aceit 7.4. This is good news for users of Aceit 7.4. As there may still be some Aceit 7.3 users as well TrueMapper still continues to integrate with Aceit 7.3. In order to accommodate the ability to target multiple versions of Aceit and manage the fact that the number of 3rd party applications that TrueMapper integrates with is increasing, it was a good time to redo TrueMapper’s menus. As can be seen in the screenshot below, the latest version of TrueMapper has rearranged its menus so all of the 3rd party integrations are contained in ...
Introduction As part of PRICE’s commitment to meeting its customers’ needs, PRICE will occasionally release beta versions of its software in order to provide an urgently needed fix or enhancement for a customer or enlist the help of customers in performing final testing. TrueMapper receives frequent enhancements and customers frequently use beta versions. This blog will describe how to download, and install beta versions of TrueMapper as well as manage having multiple versions of TrueMapper on a single computer. Downloading Beta versions of TrueMapper will be made available through links on our Amazon server. Links will look something like: https://s3.amazonaws.com/CompanionApps/2014SR2/TrueMapper_14.2.5582.16609.zip To use ...
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 ...
Original Post Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010 "And me boss. And me boss. And me boss!" Just like Bugs Bunny tricking the mob boss into an unfair share of the loot, who doesn’t want a piece of the action. In this case the “action” is the estimate you have just finished in TruePlanning and would like to share with your coworkers. No problem, just share your project. Project sharing is a feature that is available to users who are using the Client/Server version of TruePlanning and it allows users to access projects that have been created on the centralized database by other users. If ...
Introduction Recently a PRICE customer was interested in mapping TruePlanning projects to the Army’s Cost Element Structure (CES) and asked us to provide some help. The TruePlanning projects were completed so the next step was to pull the TruePlanning project and the Army’s CES into TrueMapper. The question was: where to find the Army CES in a form TrueMapper can digest. One option would have been to ‘hand jam’ the CES into Excel from the PDF based CES definition the customer provided. The Army CES isn’t enormous, but the effort would have been laborious and fraught with the potential for ...
Introduction: The goal of this blog is to show how data can flow between TruePlanning and ProPricer. This walkthrough is based on estimating a software application that will provide users the ability to track objects orbiting the Earth using a feed from some fictitious data stream. The benefit is the ability to get the labor requirement (effort in hours) estimated by TruePlanning into ProPricer in a seamless, easily repeatable process.   1. Create ProPricer Proposal for the Orbiting Body Tracking application The first step is to create a proposal in ProPricer with a WBS. Each task in ProPricer will have a set of ...
Original Post Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014 Introduction Parametric cost estimates provide high quality, defendable estimates early in a project’s life cycle. This makes them ideal when producing bid and proposals. The nature of parametric cost estimates, however, requires the results of the estimate to be framed in terms of specific CERs and Activities and Resources. It is common for an organization to have a more granular set of Resources than the ones used to support the CERs. One approach to resolving this issue would be to use the TrueMapper application from PRICE Systems to map TruePlanning Resources to a more ...
Original Post Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014 Introduction TruePlanning provides a powerful and highly customizable reporting environment. Project data can be viewed from many different perspectives and those perspectives can be saved and reused across all projects. Results can be exported to Excel and Word as custom reports. There are, however, some instances where there is a need to get beyond the two axes used in TruePlanning’s reporting engine. This need is sometimes expressed by users preparing TruePlanning cost estimating project data for use in a bid or proposal. Perhaps the data needs to be split by phase and labor/non-labor over ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Introduction Parametric estimates provide reliable, reproducible, and flexible views into cost and effort so it’s only natural to want to include this data in a bid and proposal workflow. With TruePlanning 2014 big steps have been taken to make such integration seamless and easily reproducible.  New tools in the TruePlanning suite of products, as well as, integrations with some of the major bid and proposal software applications are at the heart of this new feature set. You can learn more about TruePlanning 2014 and the PRICE cost estimation models at our website, but let's ...
Original Post Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 While TruePlanning by PRICE Systems is the world leading parametric cost estimation tool, the reality is that not all members in an organization are going to have TruePlanning installed on their desktops, but that doesn’t mean those people can’t get a view into the power of TruePlanning. The TruePlanning Viewer is a tool under development that allows users to view the PBS and data contained in a TruePlanning project without having TruePlanning on their desktops. Figure 1 TruePlanning Viewer TruePlanning users will be able to create special “tpview” files that non-TruePlanning users can use with ...