ExcelerTools

ExcelerTools The Level 4 ExcelerTools suite of products supports the full project governance lifecycle, including estimation, demand management, status monitoring for forecasting, and risk management.  ExcelerTools consists of the following tools:

ExcelerPlan ExcelerPlan is the most flexible and powerful estimation tool available today, supporting estimation related requirement capture, estimation of all project costs, and earned value management based project status tracking.

ExcelerStat ExcelerStat pulls data from ExcelerPlan files and supports portfolio based reporting and governance functions, including cross project resource constrained scheduling.

ExcelerRisk ExcelerRisk add full portfolio based risk analysis capabilities, including project risk, business risk, Monte Carlo simulation, and probabilistic based cost analysis. (Available Q4 2014)

ExcelerTools

Frequently Asked Questions

We already use a spreadsheet for our estimates. How is ExcelerPlan any different?

Most organization developed spreadsheet estimation templates are designed to collect together and summarize bottom-up estimates, sometimes also using standard heuristics to add support for things like project management.  ExcelerPlan is a modeling tool that captures project requirements and uses those requirements to calculate the estimate.  ExcelerPlan also includes support for areas such as risk quantification, uncertainty analysis, earned value management driven forecasts, and automated scheduling.

How do you manage access by multiple people to the estimate, and what about different versions of an estimate during the project life?

We recommend that you use your current document/source code control system to manage the ExcelerPlan files.  This system will normally support functions such as check-in and check-out and versioning.  You can also do a “Save As” in Excel to save multiple working versions locally.

We currently use another commercial estimation tool. How is ExcelerPlan any different?

The primary differences are:

  • Integrated support for estimation requirements including requirement traceability to estimation components;
  • Greater flexibility in sizing inputs (how the work is described), including native support for ERP projects, IVR projects, IFPUG Function Points, UML Use-Case Points, and others.
  • Integrated support for estimating infrastructure related cost and effort.
  • Comprehensive handling of total cost of ownership (TCO) calculations.
  • Integrated support for Earned Value Management (EVM) with associated estimate updates.
  • Resource requirement forecasts to the role, sub-role, and individual level.

Can ExcelerPlan be used “out of the box,” or does it require customization?

ExcelerPlan can be used out of the box, though customization allows complete tailoring of the tool to your organization, which will result in improved accuracy and usability.

We have a large project that we are estimating now. Can you help us?

Yes, we have provided independent cost estimates for more than 500 projects to date, with a cumulative value exceeding $7B.  Contact William@level4ventures.com for a specific estimate of the effort required.

Our current estimating processes are not very mature. Will ExcelerPlan fix this?

Only partially.  Improving estimation often requires new processes for early stage requirement definition, estimation, and demand intake, and these improvements require process changes, organizational change management, plus tool support.  We have extensive experience helping organizations through this journey, but success involves more than a “magic bullet” tool purchase.

How accurate is ExcelerPlan?

Calibrated versions of ExcelerPlan used by a trained estimator normally achieve an accuracy of +/- 10% from actuals across a statistically significant sample of projects.  Calibrated versions of ExcelerPlan used by a trained estimator normally achieve a precision (standard deviation) ranging from +/- 25% for early stage estimates to +/- 10% for late stage estimates.

What types of project can ExcelerPlan estimate?

With calibration, ExcelerPlan can be used to estimate any recurring project type.  Standard estimation catalogs are available for software development, software configuration and deployment, infrastructure support, interactive voice response development, and ERP work (e.g., SAP).