by Grady Noll
| September 23, 2016
For those reading from my last post, let’s say you wanted to use one of our templates to model your own project. The project in question is an aircraft in the development phase and you know nothing except for its overall desired weight and its intended max speed is Mach 3. Let’s search in the PRICE server:
After entering the “aircraft” category, you will see a wide assortment of aircraft related projects. Since we are trying to estimate a supersonic aircraft, click the “Aircraft Template 881C” project. The project was constructed based on our research of supersonic fighter aircraft, which we attempted to convey with the project’s picture selection and documentation in the “Project Properties.” Note that the template’s weight distributions and complexity values are based off of decades of PRICE data and have been validated through the creation of several different test cases. The average error for test cases is 10-20% for amortized unit production cost, so just using the template “out of the box” should give a credible estimate. To retain the weight distributions, click on the system folder at the top of the PBS, click the “Results” tab, and press the star icon in order to edit you favorite view:
After you complete this step, you can export this result report into Excel for simple data manipulation. Focus primarily on the “Total Weight”, “Weight of Structure”, “Weight of Electronics”, and “Quantity Per Next Higher Level” of each cost object. These factors and the ratios between them will be crucial in maintaining the intended weight distribution. Manipulation of this data should lead to an excel sheet that looks like this:
You can then take the weights generated in your Excel sheet and manually put them into your project using the “Find Replace” tool in TruePlanning® (the binocular icon) and selecting the desired inputs you want to change. Update the changes you made, check your results in the “Metrics” tab, and you have your very own estimate using the PRICE Template.
Before you get too happy about how easy that was, please note that the templates are only intended to be a solid starting point for estimate creation. To really get a great estimate for the project, a little more tailoring is required such as adjusting the project schedule, changing the worksheet set to address the economics behind the project, and adjusting some of the inputs such as percent new design and number of production units. This is where the skill of you, the user, becomes the driver of how solid the estimate becomes.
For any questions involving template use, please comment below. For any more detailed explanations of how templates/test cases were made and what needs to be adjusted, contact your preferred PRICE representative for a copy of the “Templates and Template Test Cases Manual.”