Linking Parametric Estimates to Program Management Artifacts (LPEPM) – ICEAA 2014
A common fate of parametric cost and schedule estimates is that they fall into disuse as a Project’s own artifacts (e.g. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), budget, schedule, risk lists, etc.) are created and mature. Parametric estimates typically do not map cleanly to WBS or schedule-derived artifacts, allowing a sense among Project Managers (PMs) – rightly or wrongly – that “parametric estimates are fine, but they don’t reflect my project.” As a result of this bias, parametric estimates and the estimators that generate them find themselves relegated to obscurity after passing the first project milestone. The problem lies in that dismissing parametric estimates on these grounds, PMs lose the benefit of the historic realities captured in Cost Estimating Relationships (CERs) that drive the models. Conversely, cost estimators have observed that the recent Joint Cost-Schedule Confidence Level (JCL) analyses required by NASA policy to occur at PDR/KDP-B, have yielded suspiciously narrow Coefficients of Variation in JCL cost S-curves. This observation gives rise to concerns within the cost community that projects, overly reliant on their own SMEs to provide uncertainty ranges, are missing opportunities to incorporate significant uncertainties into their estimates.
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