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An Approach to Estimate the Life Cycle Cost and Effort of Project Management for Systems Centric Projects

Research Track



One of the key challenges in predicting life cycle costs (LCCs) is to develop an accurate top down method that can be used in the early phase of system s life cycle to estimate hardware, software, integration, and management costs. Models have been developed for systems engineering (SE) costing component of management, but the literature is void of project management (PM) costing methodologies. Thus, the research study proposes a framework for evaluating PM costs required for the conceptualization, design, test, and deployment of large-scale systems centric projects. The ultimate goal of the research study is to construct a cost estimating model that can accurately and consistently predict the appropriate and adequate amount of PM effort for systems centric projects.

The proposed framework is consisted of two PM cost models which are investigated by the research effort via a series of surveys and interviews with industry PM practitioners and subject matter experts. The first proposed PM model is a synthesis of the Constructive Systems Engineering Cost Model (COSYSMO) framework with variations on the effort multipliers that are primarily driven by PM functions and characteristics commonly seen throughout aerospace and defense systems projects. The second proposed model is developed based on the PM processes, activities, attributes and characteristics that are universally shared and practiced by PM practitioners across various projects and industries.

The main goal of the first proposed model is to determine a cost relationship between SE project sizes and PM effort, and whether PM cost and effort is proportional to SE cost and effort. In other words, the first proposed model is to estimate the necessary amount of PM cost and effort based on SE project size, and help practitioners generate more accurate and reliable PM related cost and effort estimates specifically for aerospace and defense projects. The main goal of the second proposed model is to determine and construct a cost relationship based on project factors that dictate PM functions and characteristics, and which is multiplicatively impact by PM efficiency. Thus, this PM functions driven model is to estimate the amount of PM cost and effort required for any systems development projects, regardless of its industry origin, and which PM practitioners and cost estimators across different domains may be benefited by the model.

The study is expected to provide several benefits that help project sponsors and cost estimators measure and quantify PM effort, and ultimately generate reliable PM cost estimates. Project sponsors and cost estimators who utilize the proposed cost estimating models can expect their projects to receive specific benefits, which are 1. Determine adequate amount of resources needed for PM effort, 2. Produce reliable and defensible cost estimates for PM effort, 3. Allocate appropriate amount of PM resources for specific PM functions, and 4. Allow more robust and accurate project planning and tracking of cost and resources. Moreover, once both proposed models are validated and verified by industry experts and data, the research study can further measure and compare the accuracy and consistency given in each model, and determine the applicability and appropriateness of each model for specific industry usage and calibration.


Leone Z. Young
Stevens Institute of Technology
Leone Z. Young received his B.S. degree from Purdue University, and a M.S. degree from The George Washington University. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Engineering Management at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He has many years of professional experience in systems development, project and program management. His research interests include systems life cycles costing, project and program management costing, and systems integration. He is a member of the engineering management honor society (Epsilon Mu Eta) of ASEM, and he is past vice president of International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) student chapter at Stevens.

Dr. Jon Wade
Stevens Institute of Technology
on Wade is a Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Systems and Enterprises at the Stevens Institute of Technology and currently serves as the Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Wade is leading research in the areas of complex systems, complexity management and the use of technology in systems engineering education. Dr. Wade has an extensive background in leading research and development organizations and managing the development of Enterprise quality products. Previously, Dr. Wade was the Executive Vice President of Engineering at International Game Technology (IGT) where he created corporate vision, led product development, championed the development of a corporate architecture and system development practices, and managed corporate wide research and development. Before joining IGT, Dr. Wade spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems during which time he managed the development of the UltraSPARC V based Enterprise Server family and served as the Product Manager for high-performance interconnects. Prior to this, he led new system development at Thinking Machines Corporation. Dr. Wade received his SB, SM, EE and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to his publications, he has received 11 patents in the areas of integrated circuits, computer architecture, networked systems and internal combustion engines. Dr. Wade is a member of the Sigma Xi (Scientific Research), Tau Beta Pi (National Engineering), and Eta Kappa Nu (National Electrical Engineering) Honorary Societies.

Dr. Ricardo Valerdi
Lean Advancement Initiative, MIT
Ricardo Valerdi is a Research Associate at the Lean Aerospace Initiative at MIT and a Visiting Associate at the Center for Software Engineering at USC. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of San Diego, MS and PhD in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California. Formerly, he was a Member of the Technical Staff at the Aerospace Corporation in the Economic & Market Analysis Center and a Systems Engineer at Motorola and at General Instrument Corporation. He is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Enterprise Transformation.

Dr. John V. Farr
United States Military Academy
John V. Farr (john.farr@usma.edu) is currently a Professor of Engineering Management and Director of the Center for Nation Reconstruction and Capacity Development at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was the founding Director of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at Stevens Institute of Technology and former Associated Dean for Academics School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens. Prior to Stevens he was a Professor at West Point. He is past president and Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) and a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineering. He is a former member of the Army Science Board and a current member Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies. He was awarded the Sarchet Award by both ASEM and the American Society of Engineering Education.

Young Hoon Kwak
George Washington University
Young Hoon KWAK, Ph.D. is associate professor of decision sciences at The George Washington University’s School of Business in Washington, D.C. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering and Project Management from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Kwak currently serves as specialty editor for Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and is on the editorial board for International Journal of Project Management, Project Management Journal, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, and Journal of Management in Engineering. He has over 80 scholarly publications with research interests in strategic project management, project control, and engineering, construction, and infrastructure project management.