NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S4.03-8737
PROPOSAL TITLE: Bottom Up Project Cost and Risk Modeling

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microcosm, Inc.
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Graven
4940 W. 147th St.
Hawthorne, CA 90250 - 6708
(310) 219-2700

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Microcosm along with its partners HRP Systems, End-to-End Analytics, and ARES Corporation (unfunded in Phase I), propose to develop a new solution for detailed data gathering to support improved ground-up cost estimation. It will enable frequent collection and archiving of cost and other data down to the lowest WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) levels.
Current parametric space system cost estimation tools such as NAFCOM (NASA/Air Force Cost Model) and SSCM (Small Satellite Cost Model) provide good results when schedules and design and management approaches are similar to those in their existing databases –primarily traditional approaches, but they can fall-flat when applied to programs focused on rapid design and development and/or very low costs. To address these types of programs, more and better data is required.
The Microcosm team proposes an approach similar to and complementary to earned value data collection and reporting. In addition to gathering detailed actuals, this approach also requires cost and schedule forecast updates and forecast uncertainty estimates to be updated and collected as well as supplementary explanatory information. With this additional data models can be improved, and program and task managers can be trained to become better forecasters.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed solution will initially be targeted at low-cost, fast-turnaround NASA programs where it is expected to provide significant improvements to cost estimates. It can be implemented at the part/subsystem level, the project level and/or the enterprise level and would ultimately be expected to be offered as an add-on to program management or earned value tools.
Over the longer-term, the approach would be expected to be implemented across the broader set of NASA programs. This would result in not only improved cost estimates, but also near real-time monitoring of ongoing programs including cost and schedule forecasts (with uncertainties) rolled-up at any desired WBS level. This visibility into program dynamics along with the ability to apply powerful analytics to model and analyze programs should enable tighter control and improved program related decision-making.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The non-NASA applications are very similar to the NASA ones improved quality and quantity of data driving improved cost models and improved cost estimates. The capability would similarly be applicable to DoD and commercial spacecraft development activities with similar results anticipated. If the approach were adopted NASA and/or DoD wide, it would drive most of the relevant aerospace primes and subcontractors to adopt it just as they have with earned value management. As with NASA the improvements in cost estimation would be significant, but the likely major payoff would be in the improved observability and controllability of projects and programs.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56