- Problem Definition
After several years also performed cost estimation either during feasibility study, bid process and construction implementation, I realized that there is a good process for estimation and possibility to propose it using internal memo as the new standard procedure of estimation. But before, I will analyze what is the weakness of existing process compare to this reference.
Figure 1 Work on Cost Estimation
- Identify the Feasible Alternative
The main part of my internal memo to my management will be the comparison between GAO with current estimation process highlighted in some weakness process.
- Development of the Outcome for Alternative
GAO described step by step process for cost estimation as follow:
Figure 2 GAO Estimation Process
There are four main divisions: a. Initiation and research, b. Assessment, c. Analysis and d. Presentation. Based on these divisions then I will develop check list comparison what is my company now doing for the estimation to see if we skip some steps following this process.
- Selection Criteria
The final output of this simple analysis will be to see what are the missing steps from the current procedures compare to GAO reference.
- Analysis and Comparison of the Alternative
The composed Table 1 shows the missing steps of existing process compare to GAO:
Table 1 Check List Existing Company Cost Estimate Process Compare to GAO
Table 1 clearly shows that my company definitely skips many important steps for cost estimation procedure:
- No estimation structure established. It is free style template developed by each person without accountability track record of the person doing the estimation
- No sensitivity analysis. Without this analysis the use can’t have their guideline on how they should perform another interpretation stage using this output
- No risk and uncertainty analysis. It is obvious the problem if we have using the estimation output in future
- Update the estimate to reflect actual cost/change. Probably this is the most weakness of common estimation process. Without updating, we can’t have the reference database for future project, and that is the important thing to have close out report
- Selection of the Preferred Alternative
GAO provides step by step cost estimate process definitely provide reliable output for cost estimate. This process is easily auditable and traceable which I should propose to my management with force field tool &  for their consideration.
Figure 3 Force Field Analysis for Cost Estimation Process Selection
- Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result
In my opinion, adaptation of new process is not the easy one because we have to change the old habit of estimation process. This will require some introduction and intensive in house training during transition time later on.
United States Government Accountability Office, GAO. (2009). GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide GAO-09-3SP. Washington DC, United States: Richey, K., Echard, J., Cha, C., Borecki, G., Chaplain, C., Hung, R., Kelly, J., Kingsbury, N., Phillips, C., Pickett, P., Powner, D., Rhodes, K., Vodraska, A.
Brassard, Michael., Ritter Diane. (2010), The Memory Jogger 2 (2nd Edition) (pp.86-90).New Hampshire, United States:Memory Jogger
Wells, Stephen. (2006), Force Field Analysis Mini-Tutorial Quality Management, Retrieved from http://www.freequality.org/documents/knowledge/Mini-Tutorial.pdf, web 12 March 2013