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Babcock Training Academy

We deliver world-class training in complex systems to AUS/NZ defence, government and high tech markets

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Babcock Training Academy
Level 10 70 Franklin Street Adelaide  SA  5000

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T:   +61 (0)8 8440 9507
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Cost Estimation

Course Description

This two-day course by Dr Ricardo Valerdi covers the primary methods for cost estimation needed in systems development, including parametric estimation, activity-based costing, life cycle estimation, and probabilistic modeling. The estimation methods are placed in context of a Work Breakdown Structure and program schedules, while explaining the entire estimation process.

Emphasis is also placed on using cost models to perform trade studies and calibrating cost models to improve their accuracy. Participants will learn how to use cost models through real-life case studies. Common pitfalls in cost estimation will be discussed including behavioral influences that can impact the quality of cost estimates. We conclude with a review of the state-of-the-art in cost estimation.

What are the most important cost estimation methods?

How is a WBS used to define project scope?

What are the appropriate cost estimation methods for my situation?

How are cost models used to support decisions?

How accurate are cost models? How accurate do they need to be?

How are cost models calibrated?

How can cost models be integrated to develop estimates of the total system?

How can cost models be used for risk assessment?

What are the principles for effective cost estimation?

From this course you will obtain the knowledge and ability to perform basic cost estimates, identify trade-offs, use cost model results to support decisions, evaluate the goodness of an estimate, evaluate the goodness of a cost model, and understand the latest trends in cost estimation.

Target Audience

The intended audience is working professionals in pricing & estimation, as well as Systems Engineers and Project Managers.

Course Outline

Introduction: Cost estimation in context of system life cycles. Importance of cost estimation in project planning. How estimation fits into the proposal cycle. The link between cost estimation and scope control. History of parametric modeling.

Scope Definition:Creation of a technical work scope. Definition and format of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as a basis for accurate cost estimation. Pitfalls in WBS creation and how to avoid them. Task-level work definition. Class exercise in creating a WBS.

Cost Estimation Methods: Different ways to establish a cost basis, with explanation of each: parametric estimation, activity-based costing, analogy, case based reasoning, expert judgment, etc. Benefits and detriments of each. Industry-validated applications. Schedule estimation coupled with cost estimation. Comprehensive review of cost estimation tools.

Economic Principles: Concepts such as economies/diseconomies of scale, productivity, reuse, earned value, learning curves and prediction markets are used to illustrate additional methods that can improve cost estimates.

System Cost Estimation:Estimation in software, electronics, and mechanical engineering. Systems engineering estimation, including design tasks, test & evaluation, and technical management. Percentage-loaded level-of-effort tasks: project management, quality assurance, configuration management. Class exercise in creating cost estimates using a simple spreadsheet model and comparing against the WBS.

Risk Estimation:Handling uncertainties in the cost estimation process. Cost estimation and risk management. Probabilistic cost estimation and effective portrayal of the results. Cost estimation, risk levels, and pricing. Class exercise in probabilistic estimation.

Decision Making:Organizational adoption of cost models. Understanding the purpose of the estimate (proposal vs. rebaselining; ballpark vs. detailed breakdown). Human side of cost estimation (optimism, anchoring, customer expectations, etc.). Class exercise on calibrating decision makers.

Course Summary: Course summary and refresher on key points. Additional cost estimation resources. Principles for effective cost estimation.

Course Details

Course start Thu 1st January 2015
Course end Thu 31st December 2015
Individual price
Extra Information To secure your seat please submit a Registration Form. If you are waiting for financial/supervisor approval you are welcome to reserve a seat without commitment. Please note that the course fee is ex GST. We thank you for your interest and look forward to hearing from you.
Course location
Please register your interest in this course by contacting Babcock on +61 (0)8 8440 9507

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Registering for one of our courses is easy! Simply fill out one of the below Course Registration Forms and return via email to training@babcock.com.au

Course Registration Form - Individual Attendees

Course Registration Form - Multiple Attendees

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GST Terms

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