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Improving User Flexibility in TruePlanning® with Common Element Models

By Richard MabeMay 20, 2020

Users of PRICE Cost Analytics™ suite of applications and TruePlanning® software today create a product breakdown structure (PBS) for a cost estimate Hardware (HW) and Software (SW) object models. Figure 1 shows how these objects are then indentured to Assembly object models to add the costs for HW/SW integration. Then they are further indentured to System object models to add-in the costs for program management (PM), systems engineering (SE), and documentation. The rolled-up costs for SE, PM, documentation and integration are included in the algorithms for the System and Assembly objects, and not discretely displayed in the PBS.

PRICE® recognized the need for better visibility and control of these costs in an estimate. We turned to Mil-Std-881D, a document well known in the Department of Defense that describes cost work breakdown structures (WBS) to support earned value management and cost estimating. 881D WBS formats are organized by commodity HW and SW, and also include discrete rows for SE, PM, Data, Test, Training and Spares. Figure 2 shows how PRICE® has adapted this approach in TruePlanning®. The capability to add these discrete Common Elements will be available soon in Release
16.2.

This change makes TruePlanning® PBS lay-outs more flexible and adaptable. Users enter these discrete Common Elements where they most apply in a PBS. Costs are not “hidden” in System and Assembly models. Users can indenture separate Common Elements for the prime contractor and for sub-contractors by assembly or sub-assembly. Additionally, the SE, Training, Support Equipment, Test and Spares objects include newly researched cost models that add granularity to TruePlanning® estimates not now available using System and Assembly objects. Users can produce a more detailed estimate.

We have tested the new Common Element models to ensure they provide results equal to the estimates using System and Assembly objects. Costs are estimated either by using built-in factors of the prime product, or by users entering their own discrete factors.  A process to migrate a current PBS to one informed by Mil-Std-881D will also be included in release 16.2.  Contact PRICE® for additional details.