Estimates, Forecasts, Projections

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Estimates. An Estimate is a value inferred for a population of values based on data collected from a sample of data from that population. The estimate can also be produced parametrically or through a simulation (Monte Carlo is common, but Method of Moments is another we use). . Estimates can be about the past, present, or future. We can estimate the number of clams in the Pleistocene era that are in the shale formations near our house. Estimate to Complete.

Systems Engineering

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For non-trivial problems in any domain, Systems Engineering provides a starting framework for identifying problems, assessing possible solutions, implementing those solutions, measuring the performance of the efforts to deliver the solutions and the effectiveness of those solutions. Here's the collective wisdom of Systems Engineering from Mitre. This text speaks to managing in the presence of uncertainty and the processes needed to make decisions including estimating.

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Software Estimating Resources

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This blog page is dedicated to the resources used to estimate software-intensive systems using traditional and agile development methods. The reason for this resource page is the lack of understanding of how to estimate, the urban myths about software estimating, and the fallacies that estimating is not needed, when developing software, in the presence of uncertainty, when spending other peoples money. Estimating Probable System Cost,” Stephen A.

How to Estimate Project Duration

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Knowing how to estimate project duration can help teams become more efficient and improve on-time and on-budget delivery. . When it comes to project management time estimation, there are a couple of likely scenarios. Why is it important to estimate project duration?

Estimating is a Learned Skill

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Estimating is a learned skill, used for any purpose from every-day life to management of projects. When I left for the airport this morning to catch my flight to a customer site I estimated, given the conditions, how much time I need to get to my favorite parking spot at DIA. The same process for estimating is applied to multi-billion dollar projects we work. Here's some materials that provide the tools and processes needed to learn how to estimate.

What is an Estimate? What is Estimating?

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I work in a domain where estimates are made every single week. Estimate to Complete (ETC), Estimate at Completion (EAC), Estimated Completion Date (ECD) are the life blood of our software intensive system of systems programs. Since all projects operate in the presence of uncertainty, with the resulting risk - estimates are needed to make decisions that impact the future. This, of course, is nonsense, since estimates are about the past, present, and future.

When to Estimate and When Estimates aren't Needed

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Paul Boos has a post about estimating and makes a case for the Principles of when NOT to estimate. This struck a cord around a bigger topic - the inversion of estimating. When should we NOT estimate? What business decision making conditions could be in place where we don't have to estimate the outcomes of our decision in the presence of uncertainty? Then on to the original conjecture for No Estimates from Paul's post. Not principles for NOT estimating.

4 Fallacious Reasons to Estimate and Why Those Are Fallacious

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There's a recent post titled Four Fallacious Reasons to Estimate. It lists the usual suspects for why those spending the money think they don't have to estimate how much they plan to spend when they'll be done producing the value they've been assigned to produce for that expenditure. And like many posts and tweets about estimating, it's made from this point of view, not the business point view, not from the point of view of those paying the developer.

How to Estimate Any Software Problem

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ways to make decisions with No Estimates. can we make a decision in the presence of Uncertainty without making an estimate of the impact or outcome of that decision? What would be the evidence that we could make decisions in the presence of uncertanty without estimating the impacts and outcomes of those decisions? . The Myths of No Estimates and the busting of them is one purpose of this blog post. Before we start, let's look with the notion of estimation.

Connecting "What" with "How" - and the Failure to Understand the Principles of Systems Engineering and Systems Management

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This view of the system of producing value in exchange for money ignores the principles of systems engineering. . Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. At its core, systems engineering utilizes systems thinking principles to organize this body of knowledge. The elements of Systems Engineering are shown below.

A Compendium of Works to Increase the Probability of Project Success

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Project Governance. Agile Software Development for Government Software Intensive System of Systems (SISoS) , Boulder Agile Meetup, 27 July 2016. Agile Project Management is Systems Engineering? CPM-500-B/C/F: Integrating Systems Engineering with Earned Value Management, Lesson 3 CPM-500F: Technical Performance Measures , PMI CPM, June 2010. How to Develop Credible Cost & Schedule Estimate. Basis of Estimate Process. Governance.

2008 45

Compendium of Works to Increase Probability of Project Success

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Governance (#Governance). Six Business System Rule - defines the assessment of the integrated business systems for Federal procurement and their integrity in providing information to the Government contracting office. . Managing Government Grant Projects at Arizona Public Service - APS management process for Department of Energy grant for algae CO2 capture project. Agile Project Management is Systems Engineering? Governance.

2015 37

Reading List for the Cone of Uncertainty

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The primary purpose of software estimation is not to predict a project’s outcome; it is to determine whether a project’s targets are realistic enough to allow the project to be controlled to meet them ? The beginning of all business critical software development projects is the point in time when performing organizations are least certain about the project, yet it is also the time when top management expects to be delivered project estimates that are very precise.

2012 41

Deconstructing the Hertz and Accenture Debacle

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A recent lawsuit by Hertz Rental Car against Accenture has turned into a rallying cry by Agilest and No Estimates advocates. This is a topic I'm speaking on in August at the Project and Program Management Symposium , titled Integrating Systems Engineering and Program Performance Management. We play this role in ERP acquisitions for commercial and government clients . These are documented in some systems engineering tool in SysML. RM is a Systems Engineering process.

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

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We were one of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . 40 - Estimation is a Problematic Practice of Companies Doing Dangerous Things. A #Noestimates advocate makes the claim that having a ±10% accuracy for estimates of cost and duration is a dangerous thing. link] Cost Estimating Tools.

2019 37

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

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We were one of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . In all engineering worlds, from software engineering to bending metal for money, there is really nothing new under the sun. Rarely are software engineers working on science experiments. A complexity primers for systems engineers.

Misunderstanding Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

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What happens if you shift focus from "accurate estimation" to "reliably shipping by a date"? . If your project has no uncertainty, there is no need to estimate. The notion (as suggested in the quote) of shifting from accurate (what ever that means) ways of estimating to reliability shipping be a date is not physically possible since the irreducible and reducible uncertainties are always present. All estimates have precision and accuracy.

What's Missing from the Agile Software Development Paradigm

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Systems Engineering. Systems engineering is a methodical, multi-disciplinary approach for design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system. Systems Engineering looks at the big picture to make technical decisions. Systems Engineering is the methodology that supports the containment of the life cycle cost of a system. Systems Engineering is a Logical way of Thinking. Systems Management is the Science of Systems Engineering.

Quote of the Day

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abstarcted from The A-B-C of Cost Engineering , Robert Scudder Denham, 1919. Denham's book describes the fundamentals of Cost and Profit calculations, a manual for cost engineering and estimating, based on the science of Cost Modeling. 1] Jones, T, “Engineers and Their Estimates”, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia PA, Vol XXV, 1840. Mystery and Ignorance are always coexistent. Learn the truth and mystery will disappear.

3 Questions That Must Be Asked at Every Project Management Meeting

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And finally, since all project work operates in the presence of uncertainty, we must make estimates in order to execute the project in a Closed Loop manner. These questions and the principles, processes, and practices to support them are Governance of the project. Explaining KPPs, KSAs, MOEs, and MOPs , John's Ho[kins Whiting Schools of Engineering. NoEstimates Capabilities Decision Making Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Principles Project Management Risk

2018 35

Biases in Project Management and How to Remove Them

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There is always lots of complaining about the biases introduced into managing projects and making the estimates needed to make project decisions. Software engineering economics is about making decisions related to software engineering in a business context. Yet, in many companies and organizations, software business relationships to software development and engineering remain vague. [6].

Phrases Used for Technical Performance Measures

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No matter the domain, the engineering development process, these concepts are applicable. For any system, estimates of future life-cycle costs are subject to varying degrees of uncertainty. The overall uncertainty is not only due to uncertainty in cost estimating methods, but also due to uncertainties in program or system definition or in technical performance. Capabilities Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Planning Technical Performance Measures

#Noestimates Has Come to This

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So the first part is following standard estimating principles. which states clearly and concisely that decisions can be made (in the presence of uncertainty - which is ALWAYS present on software development projects - without estimating the impact of those decisions. Past performance, reference classes, parametric models, Monte Carlo simulation, method of moments , and other estimating processes are standard practice. Does that mean we don't need estimating? .

2017 33

Project Success Means Knowing.

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All engineering projects, including software projects, are a constrained optimization problems. Unlike models of mechanical engineering or classical physics, the models of microeconomics are never precise. Estimating what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers. Estimating what Plans and Schedules will be needed to reach done. Estimating what Resources we will need to reach done. Estimating what Impediments will be encountered.

2017 39

Increasing the Probability of Program Success

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We're working on a White Paper for the Joint Space Cost Council which is an organization composed of government (NRO, NASA, USAF, and others) and industry representatives with an interest in space. The origins of this paper came about at a recent JSCC meeting here in Boulder, with local Aerospace contractors, the DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) and several government agencies (NRO and NASA). Unrealistic Cost and Schedule Estimates. System Engineering Processes.

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

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We were on of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . These are classic examples from an author who is either unskilled, untrained, and inexperienced in estimating software development. And, my customer is equally as clueless about the need to estimate as I am. By simply NOT Estimating?

2018 33

Two Parallel Processes of Project Success - Both Value and Delivery are Needed

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Software engineering economics is a topic that addresses the elements of software project costs estimation and analysis and project benefit-cost ratio analysis. This is the foundation for estimates. Estimates, with accuracy and precision values, are needed to make credible decisions. These estimates are critical to both developers and customers. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2018 39

Quote of the Day

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This is called Software Engineering Economics. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis. Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. NoEstimates Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Quotes

Physical Percent Complete: Knowing When You Are Done

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There are cost people, scheduling people, risk people, EVM people, engineers, testers, and others on any program. The two disciplines — Earned Value Management (EVM) and Systems Engineering (SE) — are in the best position to integrate the stovepipes of program management. Requirements are not simply an engineering thing ; they impact every program management discipline. Much of this can be extracted from a well-written systems engineering plan (SEP).

2018 38

Managing in the Presence of Risk

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Following are lessons learned that we built into our Project Engineering Process: What value will be derived from this solution? Decision Making Deliverables Based Planning(r) Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Product Management Project Management Requirements Root Cause AnalysisInformation technology project risk often comes from non-technical aspects of the initiative.

2018 33

Why Having a Dataset "may" be Necessary but is Far from Sufficient to Support a Position

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In this course, we learned about statistics beyond the physics and engineering (systems engineering) needs and how to sort out bad data from good data. This was my starting point for becoming a software engineer rather than a physicist, by the way. . You're bad at estimating - WHY? Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis. Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2017 34

There is Little New Under the Sun

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It is popular to claim we've never done this before, so how can we possibly estimate the cost and schedule. In that world, we still made estimates of the cost to design, build, and operate the experiment. As well we made estimates of what information will be produced after spending the customers (in most cases the government is the customer) money. Estimates are at the heart of all inventing new physics activities. Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

2017 33

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq

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Barry Boehm's work in “Software Engineering Economics”. The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. Software Engineering Economics”.

2017 33

Software Intensive System of Systems

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The principal purposes of supporting the engineering of these systems are fulfilled by these emergent behaviors. To make decisions about any of the work that impacts the four measures in the presence of the uncertainty requires we make estimates. So when you hear estimates are NOT needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty , those making that claim must have: No uncertainties. NoEstimates Agile Decision Making Estimating Governance Principles

2001 30

Cone of Uncertainty

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Barry Boehm's work in “Software Engineering Economics”. The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates or any other project attribute. Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right. The processes is an engineering discipline. Estimating Probabilistic Outcomes?

Biases in Project Management and How to Remove Them

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There is always lots of complaining about the biases introduced into managing projects and making the estimates needed to make project decisions. Software engineering economics is about making decisions related to software engineering in a business context. Yet, in many companies and organizations, software business relationships to software development and engineering remain vague. [6].

Software Intensive System of Systems

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The principal purposes of supporting the engineering of these systems are fulfilled by these emergent behaviors. To make decisions about any of the work that impacts the four measures in the presence of the uncertainty requires we make estimates. So when you hear estimates are NOT needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty , those making that claim must have: No uncertainties. NoEstimates Agile Decision Making Estimating Governance Principles

2001 28

Five Immutable Principles of Project Success

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No matter the engineering processes used to produce the outcomes from the project. Estimating how much is the starting point. Since all risks come from uncertainty, we have to estimate those uncertainties, their impacts, their residual risks after mitigation. Estimating is part of risk management. No Estimating? No matter the size of the project. No matter the project domain. There are Five Immutable Principles of project success.

2017 35

Economics of Software Development

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This is the foundation for estimates. Estimates with accuracy and precision values needed to make credible decisions. These estimates are critical to both developers and customers. Underestimating software engineering costs could result in management approving proposed systems that potentially exceed budget allocations, or underdeveloped functions with poor quality, or a failure to complete a project on time. No Estimates?

2017 36

Concept of Operations

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How we can't possibly estimate the work since all the work is emergent. Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, 4th Edition, INCOSE. A current definition from the Systems Engineering point of view. Measures of Performance ‒ characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2017 32