By Robert Stoddard,
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Software Engineering Measurement and Analysis Program
As part of our research related to early acquisition lifecycle cost estimation for the Department of Defense (DoD), my colleagues in the SEI’s Software Engineering Measurement & Analysis initiative and I began envisioning a potential solution that would rely heavily on expert judgment of future possible program execution scenarios. Previous to our work on cost estimation, many parametric cost models required domain expert input, but, in our opinion, they did not address alternative scenarios of execution that might occur from Milestone A onward. Our approach, known as Quantifying Uncertainty in Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation (QUELCE), asks domain experts to provide judgment not only on uncertain cost factors for a nominal program execution scenario, but also for the drivers of cost factors across a set of anticipated scenarios. This blog post describes our efforts to improve the accuracy and reliability of expert judgment within this expanded role of early lifecycle cost estimation.