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  • Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management

PRICE Systems Releases New Cost Models for Improved Technology Estimating and Planning: Tools Extend PRICE's Program Affordability Management Offerings

MT. LAUREL, NJ / February 25, 2004 / PRICE Systems, the world leader in Program Affordability Management solutions for the global Federal market, today announced the availability of PRICE True IT (Information Technology) and True S (Software) Cost Models. True IT is designed for managers involved in technology infrastructure and enterprise application budgeting and planning, while True S can be applied to software projects ranging from business systems to mission-critical systems.

The Cost Models directly address the challenges posed by today's eGovernment, financial systems modernization and network-centric warfare projects. "PRICE's mission is to help organizations successfully select, control and deliver complex projects using a Program Affordability Management approach," said Anthony DeMarco, president of PRICE Systems. "These tools help assure our customers' success at every decision gateway in their projects."

True IT and True S are automated cost "catalogs" - mathematical models of cost objects researched from technology projects and the associated cost elements of the project components. Based on the principles of Activity-Based Management, planners work through the inputs to identify and capture critical project attributes and schedules, which are then translated to required resources, their associated costs, and milestones. With hundreds of proven Cost Estimating Relationships (CERs) "embedded" in the models, planners can tailor these tools to their specific projects rapidly and accurately, using a common methodology to define project structure, activities, processes and the relationships among them.

The Cost Models serve as strategic decision support tools, allowing planners to perform trade-off and what-if analyses, risk assessments, valuation of IT assets, make vs. buy decisions, calculate costs-to-complete and more. TruePlanning Cost Models provide more credible and comprehensive Total Ownership Cost based on predictive calculations, rather than simply on benchmarks of current data. Completed projects using PRICE's Cost Models have been shown to be accurate to within 5% of the initial estimate.

True S and True IT are part of the PRICE's TruePlanning suite of cost estimating and analysis models and knowledge management tools, designed to help project planners dramatically improve the estimating, forecasting and management of complex software, information technology and weapon system projects, thus ensuring Program Affordability. With lifecycle visibility of costs and schedules from concept through maintenance, TruePlanning improves program accuracy at every decision gateway. Its unified "workspace" streamlines program management with a single point of access to project planning tools and methods, cost models and data, and project history and schedules.

True IT for Comprehensive and Credible Information Technology Project Estimates
True IT enables planners to credibly estimate costs and better manage information for Information Technology projects - from ERP and other enterprise application projects to citizen-centered websites to infrastructure upgrades and more - by estimating costs and resources for:

  • Enterprise software: requirements, design, customization and/or additional development, integration and testing, deployment and maintenance
  • Infrastructure: installation, upgrade and maintenance of supporting hardware, networks and peripherals
  • Personnel: staffing, training, and support resources

True S for Comprehensive and Credible Software Development Project Estimates
True S allows development teams and program managers to estimate costs and better manage the development, acquisition, modification and lifecycle of software projects - from the individual software component level to complex, comprehensive business and mission-critical defense systems. Estimates are based on project attributes such as:

  • Project size (function points, lines of code)
  • Software type (database systems, ERP systems, command-and-control systems)
  • Use of COTS and/or legacy software
  • Developer productivity
  • Reliability requirements
  • Development environment (methodology and tools)

Cost Modeling Benefits
The Cost Models instill a planning discipline to track progress and update cost estimates throughout the lifespan of a project. When used as standard tools throughout a Program Office, consistency, accuracy and credibility of information are ensured across the board. Benefits to program planners and cost estimators include:

  • Adaptable to a customer's specific project: Granular cost components serve as "building blocks" that can be combined to create customized cost models for greater accuracy.
  • Scalable to any size of project or any level within a project: With unlimited hierarchical levels of projects, and an unlimited number of elements in the corresponding work breakdown structure.
  • Reusable for efficiency and accuracy: Project data can be captured and reused to improve estimate credibility and reduce oversight audit cycle time.
  • Applicable to both packaged and custom software projects: Takes into account not only the costs of COTS, but also any required integration, modification and maintenance needed to customize the solution to specific project requirements.
  • Collaborative: Provide a common project approach for contractors, managers and all parties with shared access, role-based views and security levels set according to user.

The Cost Models are built by PRICE Research, the company's dedicated team of cost researchers, statisticians and developers who gather data from virtually every aspect of the Federal marketplace and conduct surveys of program managers, engineers and cost analysts. PRICE Research then "normalizes" the aggregated data to establish industry-average values that are used to produce reasonable estimates for project components. Customers receive regular updates to True IT and True S as part of their annual license. PRICE offers complete 24/7 support and training.