SEER Composites Brings Cost To Designers Using CATIA

March 20, 2014 · Filed Under Design for Manufacturing Estimating, Estimating, General · Comment 

Galorath and Dassault Systems showed the opportunities to reduce cost and make the best design decisions via the integration of SEER and CATIA (Dassault’s widely used CAD System) at the Paris  JEC show.  Visitors were excited by the ability to view a composites part within CATIA and with a few clicks get an analysis of the costs of the alternate. This allows designers to make the most cost effective decisions and makes cost an engineering variable.   A story of this solutions was discussed on several engineering web sites such as engineering.com.  Dassuult’s CEO

Philippe Laufer CEO of CATIA also says:

 ”This [the SEER Composites integration] leads to finding out the most efficient way of manufacturing a product while meeting cost, performance, functionality, and appearance requirements.”

 

 

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Removing Estimation Bias: ICEAA Keynote March 2014

March 18, 2014 · Filed Under Conferences, Estimating, General · Comment 

Estimation is challenging.  And humans appear to be hardwired to be optimists.  THis briefing covers some of the work in removing estimate bias and strategic misrepresentation. Additionally it illustrates some of the ways SEER models and models in general can help.  ICEAA Removing Estimation Bias.  Key points include:

Experts are likely providing biased estimates

Poor estimates are a root cause of project failure

Estimates can be better, squelching bias & strategic misestimation… Parametrics help.

 

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Galorath / Dassault Advance the State of the Practice on Composites

March 4, 2014 · Filed Under Design for Manufacturing Estimating, Estimating, General · Comment 

Source: CompositesWorld

Galorath Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif., USA) reported on Feb. 25 that it has reached an agreement with Dassault Systèmes to integrate Galorath’s SEER for Manufacturing cost-estimating software with Dassault’s CATIA product design software. Galorath says the inclusion of SEER’s Cost Estimator in CATIA will allow manufacturers to initially model and test composite manufacturing processes and tradeoffs during the earliest and most preliminary stages of design.

catia to seer

Galorath’s SEER software has been assisting large-scale project estimation and planning for 25 years. Galorath says a key feature of SEER is that it is based on parametric modeling and incorporates industry data and best practices. Using analysis and simulation, SEER helps companies estimate and control project costs, risks, quality and duration.

“We know that many of our SEER for Manufacturing users, particularly in aerospace, use both CATIA and SEER,” says Dan Galorath, CEO of Galorath Inc. “With the creation of SEER’s Cost Estimator in CATIA, designers will be able to get a detailed cost estimate of a composite design. As the design changes shape, size, or materials, new estimates can be quickly rerun to understand the cost impact of those changes. Not only does it reduce duplicate effort of re-entering data into cost models, users will know in advance what it will cost to produce that part.”

“Dassault Systemes 3D EXPERIENCE platform connects data and people. Offering Galorath’s unparalleled, cost-estimating capabilities within CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE Composites processes helps users effectively predict the cost of composite use in product manufacturing and is another demonstration of the power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” says Philippe Laufer, CEO CATIA, Dassault Systemes. “Using Galorath’s SEER for Manufacturing within CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE processes will help companies perform early trade-off analysis on the use of various materials and composites processes before manufacturing even takes place. This leads to finding out the most efficient way of manufacturing a product while meeting cost, performance, functionality and appearance requirements,” added Laufer.

This interface is being delivered initially for CATIA V5 and will allow users to create and save multiple estimate scenarios for each part to compare and trade options. It includes fully customizable knowledge base templates and rules to create detail composite part cost estimates for labor, material and tooling costs.

http://www.compositesworld.com/news/galorath-cost-estimating-software-integrated-into-dassault-systmes-platform

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Introduction To Software Productivity Causes, Effects and Measurement

February 13, 2014 · Filed Under General, Software Estimating · Comment 

I did the attached briefing on Introduction to software productivity some time ago and forgot about it. And while talking to Capers Jones today about productivity I found it and thought it was pretty good.

It talks about different productivity measures and how to get one that is consistent. In fact I believe the four main criteria are

  • consistent
  • repeatable
  • auditable
  • available

It cautions ” Quantifying Productivity is useful for comparison and estimate sanity checks but steps should be taken to ensure consistency”

 

Also, productivity, software estimation, and software measurement are discussed as follow:

Productivity: how to measure productivity, what to do with it, the pitfalls of productivity management, lessons learned and best practices.

Software Estimation: Making software estimation work for internal, external, fixed price and other acquisition scenarios as well as software estimation lessons learned and best practices

Software Measurement and actions based on software measurement: Including what to measure and how to apply measurement to more successful software projects.  Industry experience and best practices will be covered.

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Dan’s Affordability Keynote at the SCAF Conference

It was interesting giving a talk on affordability to this group in London.  While the UK has affordability as a goal (in fact the conference theme was affordability) they look at it a bit differently.  It was interesting talking about price versus cost and the UK prospective.

Another thing that was interesting is the prospective that for IT systems software development is more like 6 to 10 percent of the total ownership cost.  But it is the bulk of the risk.

And I got out just before the tube strike began in earnest.  The next day I had to walk 7 miles from Paddington to get to a meeting.  The Bakerloo like was completely shut down, there was a 200 meter line for taxis and the buses were impossible to get on due to the masses of people.  I would love to see a cost analysis of this event.  The saddest part is, from what I understand, the strike was due to obsolete jobs being eliminated... But the people were not eliminated, just retrained.  Go figure?

Here are my slides: Affordability Analysis: The role of process, cost and ROI modeling in improved program management and performance.

Thank you for reading "Dan on Estimating", if you would like more information about Galorath's estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Learning from healthcare.gov Challenges Webinar

December 6, 2013 · Filed Under General, Software Estimating · Comment 

Galorath Incorporated and CAST Software bring you a webinar….   This is not the typical finger pointing but summarizing the IT challenges and looking at what we can learn from them.

Join us for an expert examination of HealthCare.gov from Dan Galorath (Galorath Inc.), Lev Lesokhin (CAST), and Lee Fischman (Galorath Inc.).

Galorath and CAST each study and assist organizations to achieve more success in their software and IT systems.  Each examined HealthCare.gov’s troubled launch and its implications for the IT industry.  Galorath’s findings are summarized in Understanding HealthCare.gov’s Rocky Rollout“.  CAST’s Lev Lesokhin has discussed HealthCare.gov’s issues with the CBS Evening News, Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets.  

In this webinar we will reveal  more of what we’ve learned including the following:

1.   Findings described in “Understanding HealthCare.gov’s Rocky Rollout“.  What led to the conclusions behind some of its 13 points?

2.   Lessons learned from HealthCare.gov.  What went wrong, when and why?  What can be learned from the experience?

3.   Bestpractices for avoiding failure on future projects.  How can we plan, control and manage projects for success?

 

CAST is the leader in Software Analysis and Measurement, providing visibility into root causes of cost and risk in enterprise software systems.

Galorath’s SEER Software is the leading solution for project planning, estimating and tracking of software and IT projects.

Register Now:  Click here

Date & Time:  December 17, 2013  8:30am Pacific (11:30am Eastern, 4:30pm London)

 

Duration: 60 Minutes

 

Presenters:


Lev Lesokhin,
EVP of Strategy and Market Development at CAST


Dan Galorath,
Founder & CEO of Galorath Incorporated

Lee Fischman, Sr. Director of Galorath Incorporated 

 

 

Register: Click here 

Click “Register”

On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”

Once the host approves your enrollment, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

 

 

For Assistance: Contact Kelly Timko at 310-414-3222 x632 or ktimko@galorath.com

 

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Understanding Healthcare.gov’s Rocky Rollout Infographic

November 11, 2013 · Filed Under Estimation Process, General, IT Estimating, Software Estimating · 3 Comments 

Galorath Inc. (the SEER Cost, Schedule, Risk Model Developers) watched the healthcare.gov rollout difficulties, the outcries and finger pointing and decided to take a more analytical look. While it is easy to throw stones at stakeholders, this was a huge IT project and there were bound to be challenges. Could it have gone better? Sure. Were there adequate resources? Seems so. Should testing and quality assurance been more rigorous? Yes, but there didn’t appear to be adequate time. Were the requirements firmed up in advance? That could have been a significant contributor.

We are confident that healthcare.gov will recover and this will go down in history as another IT lesson learned. Using our SEER models up front could have shown the minimum possible schedule as well as costs and risks. This foresight could have helped the government and suppliers to do better to plan for the inevitable defects.  Tracking progress with SEER could have also provided an early warning indicator…  Probably early enough that corrective actions could have helped.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post and look for the heading, “Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!” and you can use that code to embed this infographic on your site. Please link back to http://www.galorath.com if you use this infographic.  We have also provided a PDF document you may distribute freely with link credit to Galorath.com.  The PDF is 11 megs so be patient.

 

healthcare-gov-galorath-infographic

 

Infographic Transcript:

Why did healthcare.gov have rollout problems?

  • Extreme number of legacy systems, inside Government and among 3rd parties
  • Citizenship certification and income verification
  • Numerous, powerful stakeholders: the President, insurance companies, states, Congress
  • Complex eligibility rules
  • Different rules for different states
  • A volatile environment with numerous starts and stops: Supreme Court, Presidential election, extreme political disagreement
  • Registration requirement added very late in development
  • Not enough time

Not just another eCommerce site!How much has been spent on Healthcare.gov
How much does $150M buy?
Assuming…

  • 10-30 major systems
  • $18K average monthly salary (government rates)

What kind of quality is delivered on delivery day?

How much software can you buy for $150M?
500,000 to 600,000 lines of code Or about 24,000 unadjusted function points. In other words…

Half of Android 4.0 (2011)
http://thenextweb.com/google/2011/10/19/googles-andy-rubin-there-are-over-1-million-lines-of-code-in-android/#article

One tenth of Quickbooks (2012)
http://www.drdobbs.com/tools/building-quickbooks-how-intuit-manages-1/240003694

A teeny fraction of Facebook
http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/04/facebook-windows/

Why did some states develop their own exchanges?

  • Historical insurance sovereignty within states
  • State-specific insurance markets

Which states developed their own exchanges?
Map of states implementing there own exchanges

What were the states’ web site experiences?
Oregon

  • 1,700 individual rules affect eligibility for health insurance subsidies in Oregon
  • In Oregon, writing the eligibility rules engine took 12 people nine months.
  • Estimated cost of $54M
  • Paper only on Oct 1, site operational in mid October

California

  • Given $990M
  • Operational on time

Connecticut

  • Operational on time

Washington

  • Given $150M
  • Operational slightly late

Kentucky

  • Operational on time

New York

  • Operational on time

Idaho

  • Given $90M
  • System due early 2014

Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island

  • Operational on time, but issues connecting with Federal data hub

 

Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/us/politics/uninsured-find-more-success-via-health-exchanges-run-by-states.html

Why build a Government insurance exchange if there already are private ones?
Unclear

However, private exchanges can now sell ACA-compliant plans WITHOUT subsidies. 34 were added in 2013.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100925732
Stumbling block: private exchanges also can’t access data hub to determine subsidies.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101153131

Private exchanges will later be able to offer subsidized plans.

How does the Government perform on other IT projects?
An analysis of Government sector projects indicates that they generally performed better than the non-Government sector projects. The highlights are as follows:

  • The Government projects were 8% more productive than non-government projects. By that we mean that more functionality was delivered per developer hour.
  • The speed of delivery of Government projects is slightly better, (measured by the number of function points delivered in a month)
  • On average, Government projects are being delivered 37% later than their delivery estimate and 22% of projects exceed their cost estimate.

Are there recent, successful Government Web IT projects?

2013:

  • How’s My Waterway – Environmental Protection Agency
  • Self-Service Logon Remote Proofing – Defense Manpower Data Center
  • Medicare.gov Responsive Design – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

2012:

  • National Broadband Map – Federal Communications Commission/National Telecommunication and Information Administration
  • Supertracker – USDA Food Nutrition and Consumer Services
  • Arlington National Cemetery Explorer  – Arlington National Cemetery

When do Government projects succeed?

  • Incremental delivery
  • Expectations management
  • Team empowerment
  • Strong leadership
  • Accurate upfront estimates

 

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!




IT Data Collection, Analysis and Benchmarking: From Processes and Benchmarks Into Real Business Value

October 8, 2013 · Filed Under business value, Conferences, General, IT Estimating · Comment 

The following abstract and presentation are from my talk at the IT confidence conference in Rio de Janeiro, October 2013.  I must say the conference was very interesting and is one to support in the future.  I have included both the abstract and a link to the actual talk “IT Data Collection, Analysis and Benchmarking:  From Processes and Benchmarks Into Real Business Value“.  I love talking to IT people about actually quantifying business value rather than just the costs of programs or projects.  The responses are always positive. And tying in risk  analysis is a concept that is foreign to many but quickly accepted as a positive step.   The abstract for my talk follows:

In an IT context companies struggling to increase profits and often view IT as a necessary evil: one that consumes resources rather contributes to the bottom line. These organizations often don’t see value in data collection analysis or benchmarking either.  However, IT can be a significant contributor when IT decisions are made after measuring and estimating both cost and return.

IT data collection analysis and benchmarking continue to improve the cost of IT systems and help make decisions regarding where to spend money to stop the bleeding. As such, repeatable processes for estimating cost, schedule and risk will be addressed along with the “iron triangle” of software.  The Iron Triangle looks at issues of cost, schedule, scope and quality and helps determine what must give when client increases scope, reduces schedule or reduces budget.

Additionally this presentation will address the risk adjusted Total Cost of Ownership and return an IT investment along with its consistency with long-range investment and business strategy of an organization measured against risk and key technical and performance parameters and technical debt.

Finally, since  this presentation will address the overriding business concerns: how much value does this software contribute to the business and is the best place to spend the money.

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




World’s Largest Agile Program Goes Back To Waterfall

July 17, 2013 · Filed Under IT Estimating, Software Estimating · Comment 

The UK’s Universal Credit Welfare System , “a complex IT project that involves switching off multiple benefits and reworking them into a new tax credit system” was, by most accounts, the most ambitious agile software development project in history. Suppliers include Accenture, Cap Gemini, HP, and IBM. In their implementation they limited the potential users to the most simple cases: single people out of work, and is a small geographic area.  Seems to make sense, delivering working software, even if not the full feature set.

Quoting Computer Weekly “ DWP drops agile from flagship government software project”

The Department for Work and Pensions has dropped a coalition government scheme to avert software disasters from its £2bn Universal Credit programme.

The DWP gave up using the “agile” method of software development for Universal Credit, the coalition government’s flagship reform programme, last month.

It had before now repeatedly claimed agile was the way it would keep Universal Credit on track. The coalition government had meanwhile singled agile out as a major part of its flagship strategy to stop IT projects going calamitously and expensively wrong.

The Major Projects Authority – part of the Cabinet Office – was going to press-gang government departments to use agile methods on big software builds. Universal Credit was the government’s first – and immensely ambitious – big stab at agile.

In its final stages from April 2013, the programme is using the waterfall approach – a standard DWP testing methodology,” said Hoban, shadow employment minister.

“Initial development used agile, But it was no longer needed. “In a programme as complex as Universal Credit, which includes new IT developments and changes to existing IT assets, both agile and waterfall methods may be appropriate at different times.”

Just because we are not using agile doesn’t mean agile is inherently flawed, or that Universal Credit is inherently flawed,” he said. “It probably means agile is at a point where agile is not appropriate.”

There are potential issues like:

  • How was the initial schedule obtained (I hope they used some kind of estimation model)
  • What were the assumptions that changed
  • How agile was the program, really
  • Should this program have been agile or was it a well bounded replacement system where other approaches might have been better
  • Was this system too large to be agile
  • And on and on

Some say this should have been a 2 year development but they added another 4 years just to cover all bases.  There is an interesting 2 minute interview on youtube discussing the program and its agile plans.

According to techwell.com in their story “World’s biggest agile project collapses” there is massive finger pointing between the stakeholders as to was Agile the issue or something else. SOme say it was due to a billion + pound contract being issues as in waterfall, others say contractor personnel may not have has an agile track record.

We often describe agile is seeing how far you can get within a timeframe rather than waterfall ish where we see how long it will take to get the functionality complete. If they were required to build all the functionality and it had to replace existing functionality then they were probably in some hybrid mode.

Bottom line: Agile is a good thing when applied to the right problems. I can make no judgment as to whether this was one of those appropriate problems from existing information, nor about total ownership costs with their agile approaches for such a a long life large system without more information. Hopefully they did a lot more documentation than agile folks like since this system could be in place for decades.

This post Covering “Is Agile Cheaper” could be of interest as well.

Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




Cost and Risk of Mobile App Development

July 9, 2013 · Filed Under General, Software Estimating · 1 Comment 

Lee Fischman (one of Galorath’s leading researchers) gave a webinar discussing mobile applications, their cost and complexity. Below is his blog and the actual slides for “Moving Target” How Much Do Mobile Apps Cost To Develop:

When we recently looked again into mobile apps, no surprise, we found a vast and sophisticated ecosystem dedicated to their development and maintenance. Just as with any other platform, mobile apps in terms of complexity vary from extremely simple to the “sky is the limit”. What differentiates the mobile platform is its extremely rapid evolution across the board: front end technology, back end infrastructure, market and participants.

Effort In Developing Mobile Apps

There of course is not one mobile platform but at least three major contestants: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. While the development tools vary for each platform, a surprising number of very robust authoring tools are being used by developers for cross-platform development. These tools either produce target code for each separate platform or towards the one major common standard sweeping across the web: HTML5. All the same, there is no shortage of work for dedicated platform developers.

The perhaps more compelling story in mobile app development is not what users see, or even what they are holding in their hands, but the back end that supports these apps. Any major application (Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) has built out an infrastructure to support availability, performance, reliability, scalability, manageability, and – because server time can get very expensive – efficiency. A many-layered vendor ecosystem exists to support these goals.

Estimating mobile app development with SEER-SEM is similar to any other estimating exercise. Along with estimating the app (SEER-SEM supports development in Java, Objective C and so forth) there may be server components, frameworks, and integration with other systems. All of these can be estimated in SEER-SEM.

 

The actual recorded webinar How Much Do Mobile Apps Cost is available by signing in to the Galorath library.

Thank you for reading "Dan on Estimating", if you would like more information about Galorath's estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.




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