Cost Engineering Heath Check — How Good are your Numbers?
High quality cost estimating gives a business leader confidence to make rational financial decisions. Whether you are a business leader or a cost estimating manager, you have a vested interest in understanding whether you can depend on your organisations ability to generate accurate cost forecasts and estimates. But how can business leaders be confident that the cost information that they are being provided is of high quality? How can a cost estimating manager be sure that their team is providing high quality cost information? QinetiQ’s Cost Engineering Health Check is used to identify improvement opportunities within our clients cost estimating capability, enabling focus on areas that have the potential to increase competitiveness. High quality estimating leads to accurate budgets being set, reduced potential for cost growth, accurate evaluation of risk exposure, and the opportunity to implement effective earned value management (EVM). The Cost Engineering Health Check employs a standardised competency framework that considers all aspects of cost estimating capability, and provides an objective assessment against both best practice and the industry standard. The standardised competency framework is based on QinetiQ’s long established, tried and tested, Knowledge Based Estimating (KBE) philosophy comprising; Data, Tool, People and Process with additional consideration given to cultural and stakeholder assessments.
Dale Shermon is a Principle Consultant responsible for Cost Engineering in Acquisition Services within QinetiQ. Dale has presented courses in fundamentals of cost estimating, hardware estimating, software estimating, life cycle cost, Cost Estimating Relationships, Information Technology, risk analysis and supplier assessment in the UK, Italy, USA, Sweden, France, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany. He has conducted consulting assignments in UK, Switzerland, Italy, France, Australia and the Netherlands. He was responsible for the development of the Knowledge Based Estimating (KBE) philosophy, the “PRICE HL Questionnaire” within the PRICE Estimating Suite and the TruePlanning for Concepts methodology.
Dale was the editor and major contributor of the Gower publication “Systems Cost Engineering” (ISBN: 978-0-566-08861-2) which was published in July 2009. Dale contributed Chapter six “The Impact of Complexity on Project Cost and Schedule Estimates” in the PMI publication “Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World” (ISBN: 978-1-935589-30-3) which was published in 2011. He published a technical paper in the International Society of Parametric Analysts (ISPA) journal titled “Historical Trend Analysis Analysed” in July 2011. He has had articles published in the “Project” magazine of the Association for Project Management, “The Cost Engineer” the journal of the Association of Cost Engineers and the “Defence Management Journal” (DMJ) the management journal for the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Dale was the first European to become an ISPA Certified Parametric Practitioner in 2003. He has been the tutor for the “Cost Estimating Relationships” session of the ISPA Professional Development Training at the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 ISPA conferences and in 2009 was the tutor for “International use of Parametrics” session.
He was the first European to be awarded the ISPA Frank Freiman award in 2009 for lifetime contributions to parametric estimating.
Dale has presented papers to the European meeting of Space System Cost Analysis Group (SSCAG) in Toulouse, France; the PRICE Symposium in Nice, France, Cambridge and London UK also at the International Society for Parametric Analysts (ISPA) Conferences in San Diego, California; Frascati, Italy; Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington, St Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana and Orlando, Florida. This final paper “If a little bit of Knowledge is dangerous? what is a lot of Knowledge?” presented with the UK MOD was awarded Best Applications Track Paper for the conference. At ISPA, Seattle the paper entitled “Creating True Concepts, a methodology, not a model” was awarded Best Hardware Track Paper 2006.
Dale has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Open University and is a Fellow of The Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE) and member of The Association of Project Management (APM). Dale has a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a life member of International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA).
Dr. Mark Gilmour
Mark is a project and programme management consultant within QinetiQ’s Acquisition Services Team where he is primarily engaged in through life cost and risk assessment and management in support of economic appraisals, affordability assessments and design trade studies for UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Category A equipment projects. He has conducted cost analysis with in the civilian aerospace manufacturing domain, as well as the Land, Air and Maritime domains within defence. Mark has lead cost assurance activities in support of a number of high profile UK MoD programmes. Within QinetiQ Mark is responsible for bringing cost and risk expertise to pan QinetiQ commercial offerings, and has contributed to QinetiQ’s Programme Management and Assurance team professional standards by identifying best in class cost and risk management practices and through the delivery of cost and risk training programmes. Mark was co-developer of QinetiQ’s tool for benchmarking organisational costing capability – the Cost Engineering Health Check (CEHC).
Mark has a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a research doctorate in cost engineering from Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mark’s research doctorate was gained in collaboration with Bombardier Aerospace Belfast where he developed an aircraft manufacturing cost estimation methodology that enabled the evaluation, tracking and control of manufacturing cost through the early stages of product development. He is a registered PRINCE2 project management practitioner and a Certified Parametric Practitioner.
Mark’s interest in industrially driven academic research has enabled him to contribute to research papers for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the International Society of Productivity Enhancement (ISPE), the Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE), and the International Journal of Manufacturing Technologies and Management (IJMTM). He is currently an active member of the UK’s Society for Cost Analysis and Forecasting (SCAF), and the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA).