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Evaluating the Life Cycle Cost and Effort of Project Management for Complex Systems Development Projects

Management Track



Across industries, systems development effort has become more costly and complex in nature over the decades, and the costs of project management that are associated with systems development effort have shown an upward growth as well. The estimation of systems development cost and effort has been studied by many scholars and researchers in several different areas such as hardware, software, integration and systems engineering, but the area of project management cost and effort has had very limited exploration, and the literature is void of project management costing methodologies as of today.

The practice of project management has been applied in many industries, and the major project management processes may be adapted differently through various projects, organizations or even communities; however, the elements of activities and functions are fundamentally identical. This paper aims to study project management activities and functions that are likely to incur higher project management cost and effort in the development life cycle of complex systems projects. A survey was conducted to gather project management activities information based on practitioners’ knowledge and experience in systems development effort across various industries. Based on the survey result, different types of project management processes, activities and functions are analyzed, categorized and mapped into a standard project development life cycle according to their weighted values in each project development phase.

As a result, the research has gathered industry knowledge from several industry domains, which provides a profound understanding of project management processes for professional cost estimators and project managers who are mainly accountable for generating reliable project cost estimates, as well as helping them identify and assess project management activities that may require large allocation of project cost and effort throughout its project development life cycle.


Leone Z. Young
Stevens Institute of Technology
Leone Z. Young (lyoung@stevens.edu) is currently a PhD candidate in the Engineering Management department at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree from Purdue University, and a M.S. degree from The George Washington University. 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, agile project management 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.