Hit the mark

This article features three case studies of companies that have improved their estimating practices. San Jose-based power producer Calpine Corp. cut the time taken to develop schedules for its natural gas-fired power facilities from an average of four to six months to five to six weeks with its internal Calpine Standard Progress and Schedule Management (CSPASM) system. The new system requires contractors and project managers to input project activities into a customized spreadsheet and database.It also enables the project team to efficiently match crews with tasks and retrieve project details and resources information quickly. At Bates Project Management in Ottawa, Canada, a new labor contingency estimating methodology was developed that utilized descending classes of estimates, with the initial one carrying the highest risk and most sweeping estimate. A different approach is used at Australia-based Software Project Assist Pty. Ltd., where a rolling wave concept is customized to specific software developmen
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