Farnborough Chapter Webinar - Estimating: back-to-basics

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Posted by APM on 21st Jun 2012

We all recognise the need to undertake cost estimating in support of decision making. This is becoming even more important when the economy is struggling and funding is tight.

It is important to understand ‘what things cost’ and to obtain ’value for money’. Cost estimating is used to support value management, project and investment appraisals. Budgets can be set, resources allocated and targets set once you have a good indication of a projects overall cost. This can be taken further by evaluating alternative designs, procurement options, operating regimes and support concepts so the whole life aspects can be considered.

It is important to conduct cost estimating early in a project before costs are committed and when there is still time to influence the overall project cost. It is not a one-off exercise and the project estimate should be iterated and updated on a regular basis. Once the project has started in earnest, an ‘estimate-to-complete’ should be conducted on a similar basis.

This webinar Estimating - back to basics, gave a fundamental overview of the estimating process. It provided a step-step guide to the various stages from establishing the purpose and basis of the estimating task, through data collection and normalisation, to model development and population to deriving estimates including the risk exposure element, verification and validation and reporting and presenting of estimates. It also introduced the different estimating tools at your disposal.

The webinar was presented by Carl Dalton, a Director of Polaris Consulting, who has been involved with producing estimates of cost and time for 40 years. Carl is a Fellow of the Association of Cost Engineering and has over 30 years of experience in providing management and technical consultancy to governments and industry. Carl has worked for a variety of government organisations and leading contractors in Europe, North America, the Far East and Australia.

He specialises in cost analysis and project risk management, generally on large complex programmes. These include large aircraft and ship programmes, military and commercial vehicles, complex weapons, other transportation systems, software intensive programmes, personnel and commodities. He is experienced in utilising commercial available cost and risk management products and tools as well as developing bespoke solutions.

This event was jointly organised by the APM Thames Valley Branch and the Planning, Monitoring & Control SIG.

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