During the early "conceptual" phase of a project
life-cycle - considering for instance a competitive bidding process
when a request for bidding has been received by an engineering
& contracting company and the decision to bid has been made
- the main objective of the proposal manager is to achieve an
effective trade-off between the bid competitive value on the
side of the client expectations and the project baseline in term
of time/ cost / performance constraints on the side of the utilisation
of the internal resources. Since project final performance depends
primarily on risk analysis and management, a "risk driven
approach" to Project Management appears to be necessary
particularly during the project early phase.
The implementation of a formal "risk driven approach"
in the early phase of the project approach (to customers of the
group Engineer to Order, ETO, companies) implies:
- a Risk Management Corporate Memory (RMCM), aiming at capturing,
structuring, storing and sharing the engineering knowledge relevant
to the bidding process.
- a Decision Support System (DSS) allowing for using the available
knowledge to improve the trade off process between internal risk
and external risk.
In the case of PRIMA RMCM the main information sources are data
records and expert knowledge. The relative weight of these two
types of sources may change: the more non-repetitive is a project
element the more important is the expert judgement during the
assessment phase. On the contrary for repetitive elements data
records may exercise a greater influence in the assessment. The
integration between available data records - generally limited
by project "one of a kind" features - and subjective
judgements elicited by experts on the basis of previous experience
about similar projects is an inherent issue of the knowledge
The PRIMA DSS focuses on trading off "external" risk
analysis (i.e. analysis of bid competitive value following a
top-down approach) and "internal risk (i.e. analysis of
possible deviations from project baseline following a bottom-up
approach). The trade-off between these two sides of project risk
is normally obtained by an iterative process allowing for a progressive
adjustment of the bid taking into account the several aspects
Description of the Work
The project starts with a review of as-is methods and practices
(WP1). Information will be gathered through interview techniques
and will be used to support the initial
expression of needs.
In parallel a research overview is performed in order to determine
the state of the art of scientific developments and new research
areas in the field of decision support systems and knowledge
capture. The conceptual modelling will then be adapted to the
bid phase. The results are then combined to define the global
The next phase (WP2) is relative to the toolkit production
and makes use of prototyping methods. The detailed specifications
and architecture of the software tool are established along with
the quality plan.
After test the modules will be integrated up to the validation
of the complete tool.
The last part of the development consists in an evaluation
phase to examine the capability of the product to satisfy the
customer needs. This will be the opportunity to review the initial
needs expression and to implement some improvements.
The documentation (User's guide, Tutorial) will be updated
WP3 is an experimentation phase whose purpose is to evaluate
the efficiency of the system. This phase is prepared in the early
months of the project in parallel with the global architecture
definition. Once the tool is available simulations will permit
evaluation of the system performance.
Dissemination (WP4) will be conducted throughout the project
together with the preparation of the exploitation plan. A marketing
study will be performed, the customisation strategy in each country
will be defined and industrial associations will be kept informed.
Once the product is available, methodology and methods are disseminated.
In parallel the tool and the methodology are disseminated to
industry through the industrial partners.
Mr Jean-Claude Lestriez
ALCATEL SPACE INDUSTRIES
26 Avenue JF Champollion, BP1187