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Parametric Cost Estimating


An estimate is the most knowledgeable statement one can make at a particular point in time. A complete estimate includes:

  • Effort/Cost
  • Schedule
  • Risk
  • Reliability

A viable estimate should also be produced with consistent definitions and a repeatable estimating process, not just based on whims or guesses.

Parametric Cost Estimating couples a structured estimating process with statistically based parametric/predictive modeling methods to provide a basis for high confidence estimates. Parametric modeling takes its name from the parameters (or variables) that are modified during the project simulation process. Parametric models are built from a set of mathematical equations. These may be standard equations found in reference books, proprietary equations developed by consultants or vendors, or some combination of the two.

Parametric cost estimating is a method for estimating future proceedings based on analysis of past events and trends. “Parameters” (conditions) that appear to have driven what happened in the past are identified, and connected to past experience through mathematical relationships.

In order for parametric models to have any validity, they must be based on or proven using actual project data. It is largely the sophistication of the data analysis methods and the extensiveness of the underlying project data which determines the effectiveness of a modeling solution. With an extensive data base of project performance characteristics from a wide range of projects derived from both commercial and aerospace applications, Galorath’s SEER parametric modeling software provides users with proven and easy to use parametric cost modeling capabilities. Parametrics are what drive Galorath’s SEER models. They are also what the insurance industry and others use in estimating costs of future risks.

To facilitate the effective use of parametric cost estimation, Galorath provides the SEER suite of parametric cost estimation models software that has been demonstrated to provide excellent projections for cost, schedule, and risk across a wide range of applications including commercial, embedded, and defense oriented domains. As parametric modeling software, the SEER applications will support any estimation problem for:

For over two decades, Galorath Incorporated has helped organizations better plan and control project aspects such as duration, costs, risks and quality. The SEER line of project management tools powerfully combine project-applicable knowledge bases and modeling technology to predict project outcomes. To learn more about how we can help you better estimate, plan and control projects, call 301-414-3222 or contact us.

With a common user interface and integration across the SEER suite of models, the ability to use multiple parametric models is simplified and provides consistent capabilities for all projects. For example, in an IT system, software development, package implementation, IT infrastructure and IT services are all estimated along with total ownership costs.

An important part of parametric cost estimating is the ability to perform tradeoffs (what-if analysis) to find the most viable plan for a mix of possibilities. This critical ability is inherent in all of the Galorath applications.

SEER’s parametric modeling software provides:

Interface: An intuitive interface for defining and describing the problem and analyzing the solution. A series of pop-up windows and annotations help guide users through the process of defining project scope, complexity, and technologies. Users can generate a new project from an existing project “template” or by adding and defining individual work elements.

Simulation/modeling engine: Sophisticated, sector-specific mathematical models derived from extensive project histories, behavioral models, and metrics.

Knowledge bases: A virtual “in-house expert,” providing default project definitions, values, ranges, and calibrations based on the domain and histories. These enables users to develop first-look estimates when very little information is known, and to refine those estimates as details become available.

Output: Numerous charts, graphs, reports and dashboards for quickly summarizing and presenting project outcomes and alternatives, as well as work-in-progress.

Risk Analysis: A full risk analysis is included, allowing uncertainty to be evaluated and the best decisions to be made.

Additionally, Galorath has an experienced staff of consultants available to help with unique situations and to support our parametric modeling software during deployment, calibration, and estimate processes as well as overall estimating the parametric cost models to best fit your particular situation.

To see examples of how effective using the SEER parametric cost models can be, a number of SEER customers have graciously allowed some of their successes to be published on the Case Study portion of the Galorath web site.

Contact us to learn more about how SEER’s parametric cost estimating and modeling can help your organization take the guess work out of estimating, planning and controlling projects.

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