PCA Companion Applications

Excel® Companion Apps


The PRICE Cost Analytics Application Programming Interface (PCA-API) enables you to build custom Excel®-based applications that tap into the TruePlanning estimation engine and data model.  For the non-programmers out there, this essentially allows you to use the power of TruePlanning from inside Microsoft Excel.

PRICE Systems has built several popular Excel® Companion Apps to provide powerful analytic capabilities available “out of the box.”  These TruePlanning Companion Applications are included with the purchase of PRICE Cost Analytics and other proprietary versions have been developed with our end users covering a wide range of advanced analytic capability.

Excel Solution

Complete control of TruePlanning capabilities from Excel, with cost/schedule drivers linked to PRICE estimating models. Worksheet-based basis for estimating inputs bridged dynamically to output justification and estimate defensibility. User-defined dashboards provide the power user with flexibility and rapid manageability over large projects and company datasets, significantly improving analysis response-time and overall transparency. Excel calls TruePlanning “as a function” facilitating tradeoff studies, what-if excursions, risk analyses and large-scale calibrations of customer knowledgebases. Can rapidly push/pull to TruePlanning and see results in real time. Allows users to update and calculate data in the Excel application using the calculative power of TruePlanning.

Sensitivity Analysis

Direct visibility to cost-driver relationships both for company-specific estimates and for TruePlanning functionality. Immediate “what-if” analyses for context-relevant impacts of changes to program requirements such as quantity, technology, environment, etc. GAO-compliant tool for analysis of point-estimates supporting bid & proposal activities. Empowers both management and design/systems/cost engineering with insight to driver effects and key project influencers. Exposes functional relationships and eliminates perception of “black box” for parametric option. Answers the fundamental key question of what is driving cost and what are the most sensitive inputs. Helps justify input values as well as helps make informed decisions on the design or approach to projects.

Input Diff

Detailed visualization of key differences in input cost drivers between estimating iterations. Allows management and systems/cost engineers easy comparison of requirements descriptions. Produces auditable trail of variations in estimation models, exhausting all inputs as well as supporting information. Allows the end user to interface any TruePlanning project file via EXCEL and produce a report detailing all changes to TruePlanning inputs. Creates defensibility and full documentation for submission of point estimate cost-drivers, as well as all substantiation of all alternative input variants.

Crystal Ball / @Risk

Quantifies future uncertainties in meeting program goals and objectives. Addresses potential variation between plan and outcomes associated with alternative requirements aspects. Enhances program cost projection reliability by projecting combined impact of possible distribution ranges of cost-driver parameters. Links TruePlanning with industry-standard 3rd party software for GAO-DoD compliant Risk and Uncertainty analyses. Embeds Crystal Ball / @Risk dashboard controls into Excel, driving Monte Carlo simulations of TruePlanning. Allows for risk/uncertainty analysis at activity work-task levels, beyond product cost levels. Provides a direct link to TruePlanning for Monte Carlo risk analysis using either Crystal Ball or @Risk.

Parametric Data Forms

Organization-wide standardized data submission and documented audit trail tool. Simplifies and streamlines the process of collecting data submissions from SMEs and suppliers. Provides structured visibility to cost-drivers for management and common understanding of data submissions for estimators. Excel-based tool that integrates with TruePlanning estimation methodology for efficient automation and normalization of SME feedback.

Maintenance Concept Analyzer

Provides management and customer visibility to ownership scenario implications. Justifies best lifecycle investment scenario with optimal operations and support concept. Evaluates and rank-orders cost effectiveness for each of 28 maintenance concepts for hardware ownership.  Supports dynamic analysis of assumption changes and scenario/system variations. Quantifies total ownership cost for alternatives in deployment fielding with associated sparing, repair, facility and personnel.   Each Maintenance Concept is evaluated, and an overall Cost Effectiveness Index is displayed as a bar chart showing the most cost-effective maintenance concept. In addition, a Total Cost chart is produced showing the overall cost of each maintenance concept.