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Thursday, March 23 • 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Tutorial - QUELCE: Planning for Change, a New Era in Cost Estimation

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Extensive cost overruns in major defense programs are common and studies have implicated poor cost estimation as one of the major contributors. DoD Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) expect two to three submissions to achieve independent cost estimate approval, resulting in delays of three to six months or more. The GAO has reported that the cost overrun growth in the DoD R&D portfolio in past five years amounts to $32B. Research and experience have identified several factors associated with poor cost estimates. These include

  • optimistic expectations about achievable program scope and technology that can be delivered on schedule and within budget
  • an enormous amount of unknowns and uncertainties that exist at the time when these estimates are made about large-scale, unprecedented systems that take years to develop and deploy
  • a heavy reliance (out of necessity) on expert judgment

In this tutorial we teach the steps of a novel cost estimation method, Quantifying Uncertainty in Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation (QUELCE). QUELCE synthesizes future scenario thinking techniques—such as dependency structure matrices, Bayesian belief network models, and Monte Carlo simulation—into an estimation method that quantifies domain-specific uncertainties, allows subjective inputs by calibrated experts, visually depicts influential and cascading relationships among sources of uncertainty, plugs into the front end of existing cost models, and naturally produces a rich basis of estimate. QUELCE digests greater program execution information than traditional estimation tools but leverages techniques to limit the combinatorial explosion of complex, interacting, and cascading program change drivers for a more tractable cost estimate.

avatar for Robert Stoddard

Robert Stoddard

Robert Stoddard has over 11 years’ experience with the SEI and currently serves as a Principal Researcher within the measurement team of the Software Solutions Division. Bob previously served for over 24 years in industry (Texas Instruments & Motorola) in the fields of software... Read More →
avatar for Dave Zubrow

Dave Zubrow

Dave is the current Chief Scientist and Associate Director for the Software Solutions Division.  He has been employed at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University since 1992.  For much of his 24 years at the SEI, he has developed and transitioned quality... Read More →

Thursday March 23, 2017 1:00pm - 5:00pm EDT

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