Healthcare.gov findings

May 7, 2014 · Filed Under General · Comment 

failure success road signWe had published significant information regarding the findings from the healthcare.gov initial difficulties.  The findings were not that different than any major IT system development might have been.

The problems are many, everything from:

  1. Massive requirements volatility
  2. Massive Complexity
  3. Huge Integration Issues
  4. Many legacy systems that had to be made to work together
  5. Forced Deadlines that were not achievable

High Level Lessons Learned

  • Ensure strong leadership
  • Communicate Constantly
  • Manage Requirements
  • Either reduce features or change the due date when in a no win situation
  • Buy off the shelf when feasible.
  • Don’t place all the blame on the contractors who were put on death marches

Here are the slides from that webinar: healthcare.gov lessons learned

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.




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 IT Affordability Talk at RANEPA

February 1, 2014 · Filed Under General · Comment 

I just submitted my slides for a talk at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)  On Feb 28 – March 1.

IT Affordability, Estimation, Planning & Control for More Successful Projects For RANEPA

By Daniel D. Galorath

Founder and CEO

Galorath Incorporated

Companies struggle to increase profits and often view IT as a necessary evil – one that consumes resources rather than contributing to the bottom line. In fact, IT can be a significant contributor. In many cases, IT is a primary corporate asset.  Making transparent IT decisions based on the most affordable solutions and return on investment can:

  • improve the business
  • improve IT’s stature
  • increase appreciation and IT budgets within the organization.

A complete affordability analysis can quantify an IT budget’s risk-adjusted Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI). Affordability analysis can also determine an IT budget’s consistency with an organization’s long-range investment and business strategies, measured against risk and key technical and performance parameters.

Both existing systems of affordability analysis and new developments will be addressed.  Additionally, risk and tradeoffs between functionality, quality, security and other system goals will be covered by describing a 10-step Affordability Analysis Process as well as the cost / schedule estimating process.  The talk consists of three major sections covering first a recent monumental US IT challenged project, estimation, and affordability as follow:

  1. US healthcare.gov problems highlight the need for estimation, planning & control
  2. Estimation is critical and Should Be A Core Process
  3. Viable Estimation Can help achieve affordable systems with optimal ROI

Here are the slides: IT Affordability, Estimation, Planning & Control for More Successful Projects For RANEPA

 

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 · 2 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!




Working From Home Increased Productivity 13% In Stanford Study

October 17, 2013 · Filed Under General · Comment 

http://vancouverrealestate.blogs.com/.a/6a00d834cd270a69e20115706ac333970b-piAs the world becomes more and more virtual, working from home appears to be the trend.  A notable exception was Yahoo that just stopped all their employees from working at home.

I know in Los Angles the days when I work from home I avoid about 90 minutes of commute time. and spend that time working.  Lunch is just in the kitchen… No need to spend an hour going out:  hence increased working time.

On the other hand, even though I am on the phone or Webex much of the day, I miss the non-verbal communication (body language, etc.) as well as the opportunity to have human interaction… To spend a minute hearing about a coworker’s kids accomplishments, and some of the latest problems… Successes do get communicated.  But since may of our people are located outside of Los Angeles, and many of those in Los Angeles work at home some days each week, the traditional physical communication environment is nearly extinct in any case.   I know at times in the 90′s when we tried, some people took advantage of the work at home situation… I could tell some stories.  But we didn’t have the tools or culture we have today.

In a Stanford study “Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment”  the conclusion was a 13% INCREASE in productivity for call center type functions.  More skilled functions such as software development were not addressed but the is mounting evidence that it also helps productivity when appropriate communication and collaboration tools are available.  My first thought was “how did the Hawthorne effect play into this… People respond to being measured.  But the paper has refuted that well.

So what is the bottom line for IT and software development workers…

This needs more study but it appears the flexibility to work from home at least some days improves morale as well as saving time.  More study is needed.

And the working at home productivity must somehow inter-relate with the productivity based on level of engagement.  I suspect taking an unengaged employee and putting them at home only makes things worse.

I did blog about the costs and benefits of telecommuting a while back.  But I think the Council of Economic Advisers is right:

“A factor hindering a deeper understanding of the benefits and costs of flexibility is a lack of data on the prevalence of workplace flexibility and arrangements, and more research is needed on the mechanisms through which flexibility influences workers’ job satisfaction and firms’ profits to help policy makers and managers alike.” (Council of Economic Advisers, 2010, Executive Summary)”

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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