- About PRICE
Q: What is the difference between the Purchased Good Cost Object and Hardware or Software COTS Cost Object?
The COTS cost object provides a more detailed influence on the Systems and Assembly cost object as you can specify the complexity and structural/electronic weight split (for hardware) or the functional complexity and size of the software.
The COTS cost object will estimate the cost of modifications or tailoring, the Purchased Goods cost object cannot.
The COTS cost object will "fill from H" (PRICE H) to enable you to estimate the cost of life cycle activities, rather than entering the O&S cost.
The COTS cost object can estimate the design integration activities of component selection and tailoring (old DLEVE/S), in the purchased cost object you need to enter it manually.
The number of activities and resources are greater with the COTS cost object providing a finer granularity of estimate.
If a lot of items are entered as purchased, you are really producing a detailed estimate in a parametric model. You are not getting the added value of the parametric algorithms apart from the Assembly and Systems cost object influences.
Ask yourself "what are we trying to achieve?" consider calibration of the purchased items - run the model backwards to produce complexity from weight and cost or organizational specification for software - to refine the estimate.
In the future, if the weight changes, but the technology is the same, in a calibrated parametric model you have the answer once you have entered the weight very quickly. If you continue with the purchased items, you need to get another set of supplier quotations.
Consider the size of the PBS, if it's large perhaps consider grouping items of similar technology.
TruePlanning is equipped with a multi-national estimating capability. For Labor cost the labor hours are multiplied by the updated labor data for multiple countries.
For Material and other direct costs the model always calculates in US Dollars. If the country of manufacture is the US then there is no need for adjustment (Conversion factor is 1), if the country of manufacture is non US then the material is adjusted with the Conversion factor (OECD PPP), which provides an estimate of the cost of the material in that country.
Finally, for both labor and material costs the output currency is set. If the output cost set in the File> Properties is different from the country of manufacture it then multiplies by the exchange rate. If the output cost is the same as the country of manufacture it does nothing (multiplies by exchange rate of 1).
Yes, Development costs are estimated in TruePlanning. Research is usually in two parts; Pure Research and Applied Research. Pure Research (technology push) is scientific investigation with no particular project or target program. It is research which is done to extend scientific understanding. It might find a way into a program in the future. There is no problem to solve, there is just research for the sake of research.
Applied Research (technology pull) is scientific investigation specifically for a project. It is focused on a project problem which is researched for an answer.
Applied research could be included if you calibrate the model, but it is usually prior to a technology demonstration program (TDP), before Development prototypes.
Research is not included in Development, by default, you could calibrate it, but research is not consistent. It will fill any amount of budget.
TruePlanning includes the following types of test costs:
Development Manufacturing - This activity includes all the manufacturing tasks and materials necessary to assemble, test and perform qualification testing for prototypes of developed or modified off-the-shelf hardware. The purpose of this testing is to confirm the non-recurring engineering design. It is non-recurring test for the prototypes.
Production Manufacturing -This activity includes all the manufacturing tasks and materials necessary to fabricate, assemble and test hardware components or modified off-the-shelf hardware. This will be production form, fit and function observation testing. They will naturally be non-destructive tests.
Software Integration and Test - This activity accounts for the tasks associated with integrating child software components, COTS software components and assemblies. Following successful integration the testing will ensure that the software requirements have been met.
This activity only has development resources calculated. It is the software to software integration activity. The magnitude of the resources is calculated based solely on inputs from software components and assemblies containing software. The calculated resources assume normal working practices with minor rework and retesting necessary for the testing to succeed.
Hardware Integration and Test
Comprising of the six I&T activities; development engineering, development manufacturing, development tooling and test, production engineering, production manufacturing, production tooling and test. These Activities account for the tasks associated with integrating child hardware components, COTS hardware components and assemblies. On completion the testing ensures those hardware requirements have been met.
In development the testing resources include testing effort for destructive and non-destructive acceptance testing sufficient to prove the initial design. The cost of test facilities is assumed to be an indirect cost covered by the overheads of the organization. The Operational Specification will ensure that the level of development testing is appropriate to the industry. In production the hardware is inspected, but it is assumed that the hardware is manufactured in accordance with Quality Assurance requirements thus negating the need for a full test program.
The calculated resource is based solely on inputs from hardware components, hardware COTS components and assemblies containing hardware. The calculated resources assume normal working practices with minor rework and retesting necessary for the testing to succeed.
System Integration and Test
Accounts for the tasks associated with the integration of software, hardware and component assemblies or systems ensuring that system level requirements have been met. The magnitude of resources calculated is based on inputs from all components and assemblies in the Assembly.
This activity only has development resources calculated. It is the software to hardware integration activity.
The calculated resources assume normal working practices with minor rework and retesting necessary for the testing to succeed.
Operational Test and Evaluation
Accounts for the tasks associated with support of customer field test and evaluation ensuring that customer requirements have been met. The magnitude of resources calculated is based on inputs from all components and assemblies in the assembly as well inputs regarding requirements, operational scenarios, etc. on the input sheet.
In development the testing resources include testing effort for destructive and non-destructive acceptance testing sufficient to prove the initial design. The cost of test facilities is assumed to be an indirect cost covered by the overheads of the organization. The Operational Specification will ensure that the level of development testing is appropriate to the industry.
In production the hardware is inspected, but it is assumed that the hardware is manufactured in accordance with Quality Assurance requirements thus negating the need for a full test program.
The calculated resources assume normal working practices with minor rework and retesting necessary for the testing to succeed.
This effort is limited to acceptance testing of form, fit and function. It does not extend into environmental or qualification testing. For example, it will not include flight testing, test firings, wind-tunnel testing, sea acceptance trials, test dives, etc. which are specific to product and industry.
Always change the start date of the children cost objects, then for;
- Development only fixes the end dates of the following activities:
- Production only fixes the end dates of the following activities:
- Development and Production combined:
Breadboard - is a construction base for a one-of-a-kind electronic circuit, a prototype. In modern times the term is commonly used to refer to a particular type of breadboard, the solder less breadboard (plug board), which can be used for temporary prototypes and experimenting with circuit design more easily. Some electronic design departments have a pile of component, wire and a soldering iron at the back of the office. This is normally on a bench with an oscilloscope and enables them to reproduce the circuit or part of a circuit that they are designing and test it.
It is representative of the circuit, but nothing else, to ensure that the signal is processed correctly or power is conditioned correctly, before committing to a circuit design. It is not a prototype to be tested for the purposes of thermal dissipation or EMC signature, like a real prototype.
Cost Objects in PBS Tree can be moved around. Only rule is maintaining parent/child relationship. Only Cost Objects which can be parents are 1> Folder 2> System 3> Assembly, all other cost objects are children only hence cannot be made parents.
Q: I had a model last week where I changed the Time Worked Hours in the worksheet set. This did not seem to have any effect (to cost or schedule). Does this round right?
TruePlanning estimates the hours and material and then calculates the cost. Changing the Time Worked will not change the estimated hours, but it will influence the equivalent Man Days, Man Weeks and Man Months.
If the Time Worked has been halved from 1,824 to 912 hours.
Half the number of hours worked in a year will require double the number of equivalent Man Months.
The schedule will not be affected by a change in the Time Worked.
The Cost will be influenced, if you don't change the labor rates. The annual labor rate is the same for half the number of hours worked. This will result in the same number of hours being charged at twice the hourly rate, hence the Labor cost will be double, but the material cost will be the same.
Q: Where are the Notes, Attachments, and Links once they have been entered in TruePlanning? Can I share the attachments?
All custom notes and attachments become part of the TruePlanning project and hence are stored in the SQL database.
When you share your project by exporting it to a TPPRJ file, the notes and attachments saved in the file. Hence when a recipient imports your TPPRJ file in to his/her TruePlanning , the notes and attachments are available to him/her and become part of his/her SQL database.
It is possible to import PRICE S files into the TruePlanning model.
The Learning Curve for labor and material is the same by default in the PRICE H model. The User has the ability to change the setting if they have more knowledge or understanding than the model. Labor Learning Curve (LC) is widely understood and is based upon the production rates in the model. It is possible to determine a constant saving (percentage) due to learning effect with each doubling of the quantity manufactured.
In the same way, one person's material is another person's labor. When the raw material is produced as castings, forgings, extrusion, billets, etc. there is a labor process to make these items of raw material. Industries don't us iron ore, but processed material. If we have a higher production rate and order more casting, forgings, etc. then the supplier will utilize different production techniques to produce the raw materials for us. This higher production rate of material manifests itself as a discount, or reduction in the raw material cost, hence learning curve.
So a learning curve is experienced on both the labor and material side of the cost model.
The difference between a Client and Standalone installation is that in a Standalone installation a local SQL Server 2005 Express database is installed. In the case of a Client installation the location of the database and the desired mechanism for connecting to the database are asked during installation. In the case of the Standalone installation the local database is installed and the TruePlanning application connects to the local database by default. Standalone databases can be connected to servers at any time though the Connections dialog (Tools->Connections).
In many environments where the target installation is Client/Server there is an advantage to installing the Standalone version in place of the Client installation and then connecting the Standalone installation to the central database after the installation has been completed. Doing this allows users to work with TruePlanning while disconnected from the network.
At this time the TruePlanning "Project Center" web page is a managerial page with limited functionality and does not replace the TruePlanning Client?
TruePlanning is an application functions on a large set of behaviors. The models produced in TruePlanning involve significant numbers of calculations. This type of application is not suited for the web in the same way that spreadsheets and word processing applications are not suitable for the web.
Q: What type of database connection should I use (Windows Authentication or SQL Authentication) when setting up Clients in a Client/Server environment?
The application SQL Server allows remote clients to connect through several mechanisms. The two that are supported by TruePlanning Clients are: Windows Authentication and SQL Authentication.
Windows Authentication relies on behavior built into the SQL Server application in which the identity of the user requesting the connection is based on the identity they used to log onto the network domain or PC. The SQL Server application must be configured to recognize the identity of the user making the request. This includes the list of allowed databases and the access rights (read/write/create/delete) for those databases. Frequently this is performed by adding users to domain groups and then defining database access rights to the group.
For example: if user A logs onto their PC and then launches a TruePlanning Client configured to use Windows Authentication, TruePlanning will request a connection to the database based on user A's identity. The SQL Server database will verify against the domain the validity of user A's credentials. The SQL Server database will then verify the set of access rights user A has in the database. If the credentials are validated and the user has acceptable access rights in the database, the requested connection is established. Note that user A did not have to supply any information. The credential information is supplied by the Windows Operating System in a secure fashion.
SQL Authentication is a connection method that is based on username/password pairs that are managed by the SQL Server application. SQL Server based credentials are created in SQL Server and only work for the SQL Server application. These credentials are managed in the SQL Server application so each unique set of credentials must be created/removed/edited via the SQL Server application for each user.
For example: if user A is to use SQL Server Authentication to connect to database through some application such as TruePlanning, then a set of credentials for user A would need to be created in the SQL Server application. Once the credentials were created and TruePlanning was configured to use those credentials, those credentials would be presented to the SQL Server application by TruePlanning when it was launched. SQL Server would verify the presented credentials and would allow the requested connection.
From a maintenance standpoint Windows credentials are usually preferred as they require less work. Many organizations have policies on password lifespan as well as other requirements. The requirements are usually already in place for a user's domain credentials. Therefore being able to tie into the existing infrastructure of credentials is preferred.
It should also be noted that TruePlanning needs to store information about its connection to a SQL Server database. The two types of connections result in slightly different information being stored. TruePlanning stores its connection information in the registry. In the case of Windows based credentials there is no need to store any user information. In the case of SQL Authentication based credentials the username and password must be stored. The password is encrypted, but storing the password at all may violate some corporate policies.
Q: Should I export all of my projects before I perform an upgrade?
TruePlanning upgrades are designed to perform the upgrade without the need to manually export projects. That said, things can go wrong, so it would be beneficial to export any project files that cannot be lost.
Q: What should I know before I start a server installation?
There are a few things to know before starting a Server installation:
Q: The target environment has significant restrictions on installing web based components, do I have to install them?
No. At this time the Server installation will install the web components by default but it is possible to do a manual installation of the database and then install the catalogs by hand.
The Installation Guide pdf describes how to install the database by hand. After the database has been installed and a Client has been installed, the catalogs would need to be imported into the database.
If this type of installation is something being considered, please contact PRICE support so that we can help you.
There are a few things to know before starting a Client / Standalone installation:
Project ownership is defined by the credentials used to connect to the database. As described above, there are two methods for connecting to the database: Windows Authentication or SQL Authentication. Each of these connection mechanisms produces an identity in the database.
When using SQL Authentication care should be taken because multiple TruePlanning Clients could be configured to connect to the database using the same SQL Authentication account. If this happens, then users will appear to be same to TruePlanning. This means that each of the users sharing the SQL Authentication credentials will have access to the same projects because they will be the same user.
At this time there is no relationship between the TruePlanning clients and the TruePlanning web components. The TruePlanning Clients connect directly to the database. This is why a database only server installation is possible.
With most versions of TruePlanning the answer is yes.
When upgrading to TruePlanning 2009 or later from earlier versions a new license code will be required due to changes in the licensing software. This has no implication on the state of any existing license and is only due to a technical change in the licensing software.
Please contact PRICE Systems support. We are interested in helping you resolve your issue as quickly as possible. If possible screenshots (Alt-PrintScreen, then paste into a word processor) would be helpful.
At this time we do not. The installation is an Installshield based installation and as such there is support for producing a silent installation. Please see the Installshield website for details.
Q: What installation do I want to install if I am in an enterprise environment, but I will on occasion work when not on the enterprise network?
The recommended installation would be to install a Server, but for the client's install Standalone. This will allows users to connect to the centralized database but also be able to utilize the local database when the centralized database is not available.