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Que$tor Estimates

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Introduction

 

To understand IHS’ QUE$TOR estimating software capabilities and output one must look and

study the underlying data. Furthermore it’s imperative to correctly adjust the database defaults

for each project.

 

QUE$TOR’s Data

 

Quoting from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name?”.

Or to those with a more numerical inclination: “What’s in a number”. This is a very good question

indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we define the various parameters in QUE$TOR what data is actually being pulled out? In basic terms QUE$TOR’s data source is taken from a large sample base of actual and greatly differing projects and then the data is “normalized” or standardized to account for the different location and it’s unique conditions (which have very important cost impacts, for example the cost for an offshore platform built out in the Canadian Arctic sea will be affected by a very different set of factors than that by an identical offshore platform that was to be built in Nigerian offshore waters).

 

In the same way that QUE$TOR’s data is “normalized”, when building up a cost model using the QUE$TOR software great care must be taken to apply the correct factors to the particular project being modeled.

 

As an example, for project located in Iraq (in 2012) the database could be adjusted as follows:

 

- 13.5% Iraq logistics cost (increase).

- Manhours per unit (increase) via Productivity terrain factor of x1.5.

- Increase "Total Plot Area" x2.

- Insurance, increase to 3-4%.

- Construction camp, increase to $2,500/ person.

- Technical specification - select Middle East.

- Add escalation accordingly from QUE$TOR’s data’s release date to the *end* point of the project execution period.

 

For this last point, we must carefully think how the total cost data is calculated in the database. Let’s consider the following: if a project duration was from the start of January 2006 to the end of December 2008, the cost for say construction activities on a unit rate basis will differ during the duration of the project, given that escalation is ever present during this time. If the project was to consist exclusively in the fabrication of a particular tubular structure, the unit cost might be 2,000/ tonne in 2006, 2,050/ tonne in 2007 and 2,100/ tonne in 2008. Therefore for a project completed in 2008 The project’s total unit cost at completion will be therefore (assuming a constant linear production with no changes in productivity during this time) 2,050/ tonne.

 

That is, the data reflects the average unit rate calculated at the *end* of the project. Accordingly, escalation should apply to the *end* of the project being modeled!

 

 

QUE$TOR’s Unit Rates

 

The estimate model is built up essentially on a relatively small set of unit rates. For construction activities we have e.g. unit rates for steelwork, piping, electrical, instruments, etc., all of these with tonne as the unit of measure. While for typical steelwork and piping work this approach has it’s merits, for other categories such as electrical and instruments to estimate the cost on such a basis is less than ideal.

 

However, and this is what is important to bear in mind when working with a QUE$TOR model, we are looking at basic very rough work order of magnitude estimates, which are often prepared with very little project definition. No high accuracy is possible when no detailed project definition is available. QUE$TOR is a great tool that provides solid numbers (if the software is used correctly and with understanding of it’s capabilities) for rough order of magnitude estimates such as those used during feasibility studies.

 

Link to related articles:

 

Why Project Controls: Project Controls - Remember the Alamo

QUE$TOR Estimates

P6 vs. MS Project

The two contenders. But which one is better?

An “armchair scheduler” or frontline messenger?

A necessary document to support and explain the cost estimate: How did you arrive at that number?

Basis of Estimate
Why Project Controls

Selected Articles

Meetings

Love them or hate them. How to conduct successful productive meetings.

Funny, but true. Video on the functions of Project Controls.

Enjoy!

Settings do matter: pick the wrong settings and your schedule’s output will be meaningless.

What the text books didn’t tell you
Primavera P6 Settings
Video - Project Controls

Selected Articles

Tips on Scheduling

50% Science, 50% Art, 100% Communication

Why Project Controls?

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