Estimator Expertise.

Consider two common phrases: The past is our greatest teacher and knowledge is power.

These simple axioms hold true for much of what we encounter during life, and they are true in engineering estimating aswell.Themore experiencedandknowledgeablethe engineering estimator is, the less difficult the estimating process will be, the more accurate the estimate will be, the less likely it is that a major error will occur, and the more likely it is that the estimate will be of high quality.

How is experience acquired in industry? One approach is to assign inexperienced engineers relatively smallerjobs, to create expertise and build familiaritywith products and processes. Another strategy used is to pair inexperienced engineerswith mentorswho have vast technical experience. Technical boards and review meetings conducted to ''justify the numbers" also are used to build knowledge and experience. Finally, many firms maintain databases of their past estimates and the costs that were actually incurred.

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