Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The “Systems Folder” cost object which is found at the start of every TruePlanning Project is most often confused with the “Folder” icon.

These two however should not be confused. The “Folder” icon does not have an input sheet at all. It is not a cost object and contains no cost estimating logic or relationships.  It is provided as a collection point so that cost objects can be grouped in ways for clarity like to separate out phases of the acquisition lifecycle or to divide costs between subcontractors, etc. 

Whereas, the “System Folder” contains all the “global” inputs for every cost object that has been added to the Product Breakdown Structure (PBS).  So depending on which cost objects you’ve added to the PBS the “Systems Folder” will have a different list of global inputs on its input sheet. In addition the systems folder does carry the same function as the folder as it is the topmost collection point for your total estimate.

When our developers are building cost objects, they can create inputs as Globals in the cost object code. The value of these global inputs are made so that the calculations for can be used for ANY cost object in the PBS. Global inputs are made almost always when it is going to be the same value within a single project, and should apply to multiple cost objects (or multiple instances of a single cost object). The global input for every cost object that you add will stay on the system folder once a project has been started whether you have deleted all of the same components and there is none left of its type in the PBS.  Thus you as users only have to enter these inputs once, and it stops the clogging up of the current input sheets with too many variables that really only need to show up once per project.

For all the “Software” and “Information Technology” (IT) components the systems folder will only have global inputs for

  • Number of Prototypes
  • Number of Production units
  • Number of Deployments.

However, for the “Hardware” component, the list gets pretty extensive. In addition to the three listed above for the “Software” and “IT” components, 62 more inputs are added.  Most of these inputs are in regards to lifecycle inputs. The main categories of inputs are as follows:

  • Learning Curve
  • Number of Facilities
  • Number of Shifts
  • Unit, Module and Part Safety Stock for the Equipment, Organization,  Intermediate,  and Depot
  • Hours worked per week at the Organization, Intermediate, Depot
  • Days of Supply for repairable and consumables for the Equipment, Organization,  Intermediate,  and Depot
  • Contractor Days of supply for consumables and repairable for Equipment, Organization, Intermediate.

In addition to these main categories there are a lot of other miscellaneous items as far as stocking fees, attrition, false failure, etc.

To reiterate you will use most of these inputs, if you have included lifecycle in your estimate.

The key take away to this blog is that the Systems Folder has a lot more capability than you may have known. I have highlighted these inputs at a high level. So, be careful to not confuse the systems folder with the folder.