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System and Method of Mining Legacy Projects Statistics to Dynamically Build a Cost Model

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243058D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 111K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a system and method to provide a mechanism to better estimate the cost of a specific information technology (IT) project using time tracking, project management systems, and a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). It utilizes the actual effort to deliver similar projects based on the time sheets and resource utilization in terms of labor hours to delivery.

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System and Method of Mining Legacy Projects Statistics to Dynamically Build a Cost Model

One of the most challenging aspects of deploying a highly complex information technology (IT) system or software is creating an accurate estimation of the cost, especially for new, complex, or unique projects. In many cases, sizing the deployment takes weeks to accomplish with very little confidence that the estimate is in any way accurate.

A system is needed that can utilize previous projects of similar size and scope, associated with labor statistics and metrics, that dynamically adjusts to changing business and regulatory constraints.

In many cases, this complex sizing takes time and reuses standard resources, tasks, phases, etc. to other projects; for example, building a complex server may require very similar tasks to a project to build a simpler server that already has a cost model. The novel system and method utilizes this knowledge such that the cost to deliver a project uses this past information

The novel solution is a system and method that integrates a project scope database, project management tools, a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and a labor-reporting tool. The method utilizes data from the project scope database to identify projects of similar scope to the target project. It pulls data from the project management tools to understand the types of resources assigned to the project. The method gathers information from the labor-reporting tool to understand how much actual time was spent on the project. Together with data from the CMDB, the system automatically generates project sizings that automatically adjust as the business changes.

As an example, earlier deployments of a solution typically take longer and are more challenging. In many cases, cost models are built based on those early deployments and remain stagnant for years. With this solution in place, the cost model dynamically adjusts to take into consideration better deployment methods, increased skills, and increased knowledge and predictability of deployment tasks.

This novel method and system dynamically build a cost model for a given type of project by taking elements of data from a project request system, project management system, and time tracking system, and the generating a reusable model that can be updated at any time with the most recent data. It stores data about the project (i.e. scope and type) from the project request system, gathers data of like projects from the project management system, and marries tasks to people to cost from the time tracking system. It then has enough information to build a good cost estimate for the project. This is based on historical data vs. guesswork.

Figure 1: The components involved and a detailed description of the usage for each

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In reference to Figure 1, the components and workflow steps follow:

1. The Project Request System is a computing service that allows people to submit a project classified...