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Benefits of an End-to-End Solution for Proposal and Project Cost Management

What do we mean by an end-to-end solution for proposal and project cost management?  It is an integrated set of software tools from a single vendor using a single database design.  That means you can produce and manage time phased cost data for the entire project from inception to closeout with shared data and functions.  No need to write macros, transfer data between tools with different databases and user interfaces, or purchase a suite of add-ons for workflow functions, reporting, and producing government electronic deliverables.

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Why You Need Data Driven Resource Requirement Planning

A common business challenge for our clients is the ability to access and organize quantifiable data so they can proactively manage the resource demands for likely contract awards and existing projects.  The problem is they lack the ability to gather credible source data from the proposal process and the project control system to provide a useful corporate wide or business unit view of resource requirements.

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Using Excel for Project Cost Management?

Our clients are often stepping up from Excel to BOEMax, our proposal management software because BOEMax provides a better, faster, and easier way to produce a reliable data-driven cost estimate. Helping them implement BOEMax to support their proposal process, we frequently discover they are using Excel to manage their project cost data for the execution phase with varying degrees of success.

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Why Estimates at Completion Matter

One of the process areas we frequently help our clients with is establishing time-phased estimate to complete (ETC) data to be able to produce credible estimates at completion (EACs) during the execution phase of a project. The intent of the ETC data is to provide a realistic plan to complete the remaining work. Adding the cumulative to date actual costs to the estimate to complete provides an indication of the likely total expenditures for the project – the estimate at completion. The EAC is compared to the budget at completion (BAC) at the various levels of detail to identify and analyze areas of concern.

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Looking to Improve Your Change Control Process?

Managing and tracking baseline changes is a common issue for project managers and project control personnel. Change control is one of those process areas that requires some effort to maintain a basic level of project control discipline and data traceability. Ideally, the change control process isn’t overly restrictive. Case in point: a client that required project personnel to process a baseline change request to correct typos in work package descriptions. When the process is too painful, project personnel avoid making needed changes resulting in schedule and cost data that doesn’t reflect the project’s current state. Hopefully, your change control process has established a reasonable level for what triggers a baseline change request.

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Creating Data Driven Basis of Estimates

What is a data driven basis of estimate? It is a cost estimate that is based on verifiable data. Ideally, it is historical or other data that is traceable to the source business system such as accounting, timekeeping, material management, purchasing, or manufacturing. Along with verifiable data, the rationale used to arrive at the estimate must be clearly documented and easily available. The proposal team and customer must be able to follow the thought process, methodology, assumptions, and calculations used to arrive at the cost estimate.

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Looking to Establish Repeatable Project Control Processes?

A continuing theme often we hear from our clients is their desire to create standard, repeatable project control processes. Why is this so important? Done right, it: Reduces the time and cost to create useful project control data such as proposal basis of estimates (BOEs) or schedule driven time phased budget plans; Increases management’s confidence in the project control system to provide relevant, reliable, and timely data; Assists project personnel in making informed and proactive decisions; Increases consistency in approach so corporate management can do cross-project performance and return on investment (ROI) analysis; and Fosters an environment of continuous learning and process improvement because project personnel are leveraging best practice artifacts they can reuse for their project. Perhaps you have similar goals. Here are three suggestions to help you get started.

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Tips for Implementing Rolling Wave Planning

Rolling wave planning, sometimes called continuous planning or block planning, is a useful technique for longer duration projects where the statement of work (SOW) is likely to change. If you aren’t familiar with rolling wave planning, it is an incremental planning approach where near term work effort is planned in detail and future work effort is planned at a higher level, in a planning package, until more is known about the work scope requirements. These planning packages may be summary level planning packages (SLPPs) within the WBS or control account level planning packages. As the project progresses and more becomes known about the future work effort, the higher-level planning packages are converted to detailed plans as soon as possible maintaining a continuous planning horizon for near term work.

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How to Best Leverage Proposal Schedule and Cost Estimate at Contract Award

Take Your Winning Proposal to a Winning Project Have you thought about the process you follow immediately after contract award? Are the project teams assigned to a new project using the proposal schedule, cost estimate, and basis of estimate (BOE) data to their full advantage? With the right process and tool-sets in place, you can get through the initiating and planning phases easier and faster – and increase the quality of the schedule and budget data.

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Government Contract Software: Two Must-Have Integrations for 2018

Today’s government contract software toolsets make it easier for contractors to win contracts and stay on track while executing them. Some solutions go above and beyond to increase efficiency and improve data accuracy. And that requires seamless integration between different commercial off the shelf (COTS) tools used for cost estimating, scheduling, and earned value management (EVM). At a recent industry conference for government contractors, we polled people with different project management roles to find out which toolset integration functions help them the most. Although there were many to choose from, two kept rising to the top of everyone’s list.

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