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Quality Specialist Group - Advance Estimation Methods for Cost, Time & Qualities

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Monday, 30 April 2018 from 09:00 to 17:00 (BST)

Quality Specialist Group - Advance Estimation Methods...

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Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price * Fee Quantity
BCS Members   more info 4 Tickets 1d 19h 48m Free £0.00
Chargeable Ticket 15 Tickets 1d 19h 48m £40.00 £0.00
* Prices include VAT

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Event Details

If you are booking as a BCS Member, please enter the promotional code of BCSMember.   You will be asked to provide proof of your BCS Membership on the day.


If you book, and are unable to attend, please cancel your booking via the BCS Eventbrite booking link.  There is normally a waiting list for Tom’s courses, 

Duration: 1 day 

Cost to attend:
BCS Members: Free of charge
Non-Members: £40.00  (including vat @ 20%)

This is a joint BCS Quality Specialist Group and YPG event.

If possible, bring a laptop or tablet etc. so you can access fully the presentation.

Please note, no lunch will be provided 


Practical new tools for mastering all resources: short-term (during development), longer-term (lifetime technical debt). Money, Time and human resources.


Traditional cost estimation for IT Projects and Operational IT Systems fail us repeatedly and embarrass us.

My opinion is that this failure of us ‘keeping time and budget commitments’ is unnecessary. There are many well-proven, but too-little-known, methods to avoid the problem.

The ‘new’ estimation methods are simple common sense. Learn to live within your means.

We are going to present several, related and complimentary methods for mastery of the cost problem. These cost control methods are more-responsible and more-realistic than traditional failed methods. These new methods are more robust in the face of uncertainty, change and risks. These new cost-management methods are tightly tied to corresponding delivery of stakeholder value. It is structurally difficult to spend too much, and then not get value for money. 

1.1 Purposes: What are the real purposes of cost estimates?

  • Avoiding Budget overrun.
  • Avoiding Deadline overrun.
  • Competitive Fairness.
  • Getting Value for money: Profitability

1.2 Problems: What are the problems, difficulties and risks associated with cost estimations?

  • Changes and additions after the estimates.
  • Different Architecture and different architecture implementation.
  • Human capability differences in implementation
  • Estimation of too large delivery modules.
  • Motivation to increase earnings of suppliers
  • Hiding long-term operational costs by reducing short-term building costs

1.3 Tools: Overview of our multiple tools for estimation.

  • Decomposition into smaller value-delivery modules
  • Prioritization by value-for-money, and by risk levels
  • Design-to-Cost in the large (architecture)
  • Dynamic Design-to-Cost, after small feedback cycles with regard to value delivered and costs incurred
  • Impact Estimation Tables: numeric engineering of multiple cost drivers, esp. qualities.

1.4 Experiences: and cases with our estimation methods. On time, Under Budget!

  • IBM Cleanroom; Mills and Quinnan.
  • Quality Delivery and competitiveness for over a decade
  • Citigroup case: Richard Smith.
  • Others

1.5 Policies: Management Policies regarding estimation and cost management.

  • Values for costs management.
  • Small value-delivery management
  • Supplier Contracts adjusted based on incremental experience  


  • Value Prioritisation
  • Risk Management
  • Dynamic Design-to-Cost

1.6 Pitfalls and dangers

Pitfalls with conventional estimation methods

  • no quality (or ‘value’) quantified cost-driver management
  • no simultaneous consideration of multiple conflicting value or quality requirements
  • no differentiation between constraints and targets of critical cost drivers
  • reliance on volume of functions/function points/user stories/use cases as cost driver for estimating
  • no management of architecture costs

Pitfalls with any estimation method, including ours

  • failure to measure and pilot before scaling up
  • failure to control suppliers with smart contracts
  • failure to make sure that the ‘value actually delivered’, is the basis for deciding to continue, or give up,  the project
  • failure to plan, quantify and architect for long-term operational-costs and change-costs (technical debt management)

About the Speaker: Tom Gilb, Hon FBCS

Tom Gilb joined IBM in 1958. He has been an international consultant and teacher for 55 years. Written 10 published books. Competitive Engineering (2005), and Value Planning (2016). Tom has developed advanced methods for developing systems of any kind, with emphasis on IT systems and High Quality systems.

He is Honorary Fellow of BCS. See

Do you have questions about Quality Specialist Group - Advance Estimation Methods for Cost, Time & Qualities ? Contact BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

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When & Where

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
The Davidson Building
5 Southampton Street
WC2E 7HA London
United Kingdom

Monday, 30 April 2018 from 09:00 to 17:00 (BST)

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BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

We are all responsible for ensuring technology-led change is safe and positive for everyone in society. At BCS we’re committed to meeting this responsibility under royal charter.

That’s why we set the highest standards of professionalism and best practice in the industry, share knowledge, and develop skills and capability tuned to our evolving digital world.

We’ve been supporting the technology industry since 1957 and our 73,000-strong membership spans 150 countries. Every member actively promotes IT professionalism and we provide them with career development opportunities and bring the community together to address the professional, ethical and economic challenges facing technology today.

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Quality Specialist Group - Advance Estimation Methods for Cost, Time & Qualities
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