We’ve added many cool new features to our Hardware estimating model in TruePlanning® 2016, and I’d like to introduce the new Learning Curve features in this blog.

First, we’ve added the ability to pull out the theoretical cost of any individual production unit, anywhere along the learning curve.  We call it the “Nth Unit Cost” metric.  This has been requested by many users, notably Air Force users and aircraft manufacturers, where it is common to use the 100th unit cost as a reference point to compare different types of aircraft.  Simply enter a value for “N”, and the Metrics tab will show the Nth Unit Cost of any Hardware item, Assembly or System.

You can now set a new starting point for any learning curve calculation.  Modeling an item where you’ve already produced 5, and need to estimate the next 100 (unit 6 through unit 106)?  No problem – set your Beginning Production Unit to 6, and the model will shift the learning curve appropriately.

We’ve also added more controls over how to account for learning improvements from working on prototypes.  If building many prototypes, you may come down the learning curve a bit before even beginning the production phase.  The new method is called the “Stanford B Factor.”  Basically, this method treats prototypes as partial production units - if you’re building 10 prototypes, and Stanford B Factor = 0.5 (each prototype counts as 0.5 units worth of learning), then the model will start your production costing 5 units down the learning curve already, which just so happens to be pictured in the same picture above.

In addition to these new features, we already had a set of other useful features, like modeling multiple production facilities, accounting for learning lost during gaps in production, and more.  All of our learning curve features are detailed in our new Guide to Learning Curves in TP 2016.