Posted by

The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Transformed Estimating System

Management Track

Downloadable Files:



Taking advantage of company initiatives in the areas of technical planning and earned value management, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has instituted an initiative to re- engineer the company’s estimating processes and systems. This presentation will describe the needs that drive this action, the plan for this transformation, and the benefits that will result from its implementation.

The presentation is organized into three sections. The first section contains the vision of a complementary set of processes that provide solid technical definition to a proposal and estimating process which in turn provides programs with well defined planning baselines for execution. This section of the presentation describes three related initiatives that are focused on enhancing the company’s technical planning and estimating processes. The current estimating system characteristics are enumerated and the typical resulting estimate is defined. Known weaknesses of current estimating processes are listed along with their impacts on program planning and execution. The three company initiatives are described and characterized in terms of the specific estimating improvements associated with each.

The changes to the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) will provide increased objective actual cost/task historical data for use in developing estimates. The Enterprise Standard Planning Package will provide an improved understanding of the technical content to be estimated through the use of standard work flows, standard work products, and work product evaluations. The Transformed Estimating System (TES) will provide streamlined access to authoritative cost, technical and programmatic data elements which are stored in a centralized database. The technical data includes standard and program- specific work products and attributes as well as key configuration and performance parameters and attributes. Programmatic data includes such things as contract types, program schedules and major milestones, and numbers and types of predecessor models. The technical and programmatic data are used as objective scope measures in developing cost estimates and CERs. The institution of a closed-loop estimate evaluation process in addition to revised roles for members of the estimating organization will produce better more reliable estimating products

The second section of the presentation identifies and defines the data elements that link these three initiatives. The data element characteristics are described in conjunction with an introduction to the concept of standard work flows, standard WBS, standard OBS, and standard work products. Utilization of these standard artifacts in program definition planning and estimate creation is outlined and the mapping of the standard items to program specific instances is discussed.

The last section of the presentation contains a description of the improvements to the LM Aeronautics estimating system and the anticipated impacts. These changes include the establishment of an authoritative estimate support database, the implementation of a

CER/Cost Model repository, revised and expanded processes, development of and training for improved estimating skill sets, and the institution of a closed-loop estimate evaluation process. The impacts resulting from these initiatives are forecast for the quality of estimates and resultant planning data, changes to employee skill levels, and revisions to employee and organizational roles and cultural viewpoints.


Cleo Liles
Cleo Liles graduated from Hardin Simons University in 1963 with a B. A. in mathematics. He began his career with Lockheed Martin (General Dynamics) in Fort Worth in 1966 as an entry level estimating/administrative employee in the engineering department. He was given progressively more difficult estimating assignments within engineering and became the recognized authority in the area of engineering and development estimating. He has been a major contributor to the proposal estimates for all of the new aircraft proposals pursued at Fort Worth since the mid 70’s. He has developed numerous estimating process changes, led efforts to create and deploy improved manual and computer based estimating tools, and created innovative solutions to meet several estimating needs created by the changing development environment that evolved within engineering. After the Fort Worth operation was acquired by Lockheed Martin, his role expanded to include independent cost assessments and special estimating assignments across the Aeronautics Company and in support of corporate projects. Since 2004 he has been a Lockheed Martin Fellow assigned to the Aeronautics estimating core function. He is currently acting as the systems architect and process designer for the Estimating Transformation Initiative within the AERO Business area and serves as the interface between the estimating function and other initiatives which are transforming the development planning and execution process.