Software Risk Simulation
Software cost estimation should always address a certain level of risk within the predicted cost. Major risks within any software development effort include code growth, schedule slips, and productivity rates. Historical data can be gathered for a program that can provide insight into the average factors to use for each one of these risks. By using a Monte Carlo simulation with the statistical distributions around each of these data sets a range of possible cost outcomes can be obtained.
This paper will use historical code growth from an AIS program to calculate a possible code growth factor for a future release. This code with growth will then be used to calculate a predicted schedule. The predicted schedule will be based on a regression of historical data that calculates months from ELOC Equivalent Lines of Code. Using the ratio of the predicted schedule to nominal schedule a potential compression penalty is obtained based on a compression/extension curve derived from a commercial software tool. This potential penalty will then be used with the distribution around the historical productivity rate in order to calculate the final distribution of software development costs. In addition to laying out the methodology behind the simulation, this paper will discuss the difficulties and limitations that existed in the data and how they were handled.
Jeffrey R. Jaekle graduated from William and Mary in May of 2006 with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in government. In June of 2006, Jeff joined Northrop Grumman as an operations researcher performing cost analysis for the Intelligence Community. He has become one of the lead analysts for the development and maintenance of several AIS/Space programs to develop life cycle cost estimates and Intelligence Capability Baseline Description (ICBD). Mr. Jaekle has performed research for the Air force (AFCAA) and worked on cost analysis for the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA). He also works on a team conducting Independent Cost Proposal Evaluations throughout Northrop Grumman.
Eric R. Druker graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics in 2005 concentrating in both Operations Research and Probability & Statistics with a minor in Economics. He is employed by Northrop Grumman as a Technical & Research lead. He performs cost and risk analysis on several programs within both the Intelligence and DoD communities. He was a recipient of the 2005 NGIT President’s award for his work on Independent Cost Evaluations during which he helped to develop the risk process currently used by NGIT’s ICE teams. As a member of Northrop Grumman’s ICE working group, he has helped shape the cost and risk practices used on independent cost estimates and evaluations across the corporation. In addition to SCEA conferences, Eric has also presented papers at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Acquisition Research Symposium, DoDCAS and the NASA PM Challenge. He has also performed decision tree analysis for NG Corporate law and built models for Hurricane Katrina Impact Studies and Schedule/Cost Growth determination.
Emily M. Jessen graduated from Penn State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in Statistics. In June of 2007, Emily joined Northrop Grumman as an operations researcher performing cost analysis for the Intelligence Community. She also works on a team conducting Independent Cost Proposal Evaluations throughout Northrop Grumman.
Jacquelyn T. McQueston graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2007 with a M.S. in Computer Science, with a concentration in Computational Operations Research. She also holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary with a concentration in Probability and Statistics. She joined Northrop Grumman as an Operations Researcher in June 2007 and performs cost analysis for the Intelligence Community. She also works on a team conducting Independent Cost Proposal Evaluations throughout Northrop Grumman.
Brian A. Brophy graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Business administration – Information Technology in 2002. He spent several months in the Technology Leadership Development Program within Northrop Grumman IT / TASC before transitioning to the Risk and Cost Analysis Department. Mr. Brophy has supported several customers across the DoD and IC communities. He served as research & development team lead and conducted cost and CAIV analysis for the Design Agent Team 21st Century Destroyer program, DD(X), before serving as manager of the Independent Cost Evaluation (ICE) process in support of the NGIT Center of Excellence for Cost and Price Analysis. Mr. Brophy has led dozens of ICEs for NGIT and, in 2005, he and several of his colleagues received the NGIT President’s Award for their work. Mr. Brophy was the principal investigator for an Independent Research and Development project focused on developing cost estimating models for emerging technologies, particularly wireless technologies and network implementations. For the 2004 and 2005 SCEA conferences, Mr. Brophy served as the Advanced Training track chair and led and/or contributed to the publication of several papers. Currently, Mr. Brophy is co-lead of a team supporting the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) within an IC agency. The team is responsible for developing Independent Life Cycle Cost Estimates (I-LCCEs) for internal as well as IC-wide programs; publishing Intelligence Capability Baseline Descriptions (ICBDs); conducting Independent Cost Estimates/Assessments (ICEs/ICAs); performing Affordability and Schedule Achievability/Realism Assessments; designing and developing cost & planning tools; conducting cost and schedule risk analysis and assisting with the design and implementation of a Portfolio Management process across the agency.