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Math Help - Need help creating an equation to prepare proposals

  1. #1
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    Need help creating an equation to prepare proposals

    I work for a video production company and am trying to streamline our bidding process. I have had the employees filling out categorized time sheets for over a year now and believe I have enough data to create a formula. The formula would only involve post-production.

    Here is my end goal:

    The part of the formula that we would fill in would consist of the four following categories:

    -----------------------------------------
    1. (M)Minutes of Final Project (1-whatever)

    2. (Q) Quality of Project (1-5) - How high is the client's expectation of quality

    3. (I) Post-Production Intensiveness (1-10) - 1 would be if we shot video and did a basic assembly of the video, 10 would be if we pretty much created the entire project digitally

    4. (C) Layers of clients above us - (1-5) Is there an agency above us, and another above them, etc. Could also be a factor that dealt with how many decision makers are there approving the project.

    ----------------------------------------


    I have data of each project we have completed from the past that includes the time each employee worked on the project in post-production. Our rates are tiered based on the difficulty of the post-production work, hence factor #3 in my formula.

    --------------------------------------------
    Here is how I was thinking of tackling the task:

    1. I would go back and input all the time that I currently have for each project into our current rate structure to give me an actual overall post-production cost.

    2. I would then have 2 real numbers: (T)time spent on project, (P)total price

    3. I would then rate the project in hindsight and fill in the numbers in Categories 1-4.

    4. I would then solve for X to find the cost of the project.

    --------------------------------------------

    So here is where I am stuck....

    Based on the following factors that I now know, I want to solve for X:

    M = Minutes of Final Project
    Q = Quality of Project (1-5)
    I = Post-Production Intensiveness (1-10)
    C = Layers of clients above us - (1-5)
    T = Time spent on project
    P = Total Price

    I am not sure how I would add, multiply, the factors to create the equation...I think if I was solving for actual price it would be something like this....

    M*((Q*I*C)/3)*X = P


    I am curious if anyone can give me insight as I get ready to go back and analyze the numbers if I should be going in a different direction or if I am on track.

    Thanks for any help!
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  2. #2
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    Did I post this in the wrong forum?

    Did I post this in the wrong forum?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If I understand you correctly, you want to be able to predict the worth of a project by plugging numbers which correspond to that project (length, estimated difficulty, etc.) into some equation. The problem is, there's no numerical relationship between those numbers which an equation can be made to reflect. I could be wrong of course, but it seems to me that the best you can do is identify problem areas by surveying your least cost-effective projects for potential red flags, and avoiding any projects which show similar signs.

    If anyone disagrees, feel free to chime in.
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  4. #4
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by livpie View Post
    I work for a video production company and am trying to streamline our bidding process. I have had the employees filling out categorized time sheets for over a year now and believe I have enough data to create a formula. The formula would only involve post-production.

    Here is my end goal:

    The part of the formula that we would fill in would consist of the four following categories:

    -----------------------------------------
    1. (M)Minutes of Final Project (1-whatever)

    2. (Q) Quality of Project (1-5) - How high is the client's expectation of quality

    3. (I) Post-Production Intensiveness (1-10) - 1 would be if we shot video and did a basic assembly of the video, 10 would be if we pretty much created the entire project digitally

    4. (C) Layers of clients above us - (1-5) Is there an agency above us, and another above them, etc. Could also be a factor that dealt with how many decision makers are there approving the project.

    ----------------------------------------


    I have data of each project we have completed from the past that includes the time each employee worked on the project in post-production. Our rates are tiered based on the difficulty of the post-production work, hence factor #3 in my formula.

    --------------------------------------------
    Here is how I was thinking of tackling the task:

    1. I would go back and input all the time that I currently have for each project into our current rate structure to give me an actual overall post-production cost.

    2. I would then have 2 real numbers: (T)time spent on project, (P)total price

    3. I would then rate the project in hindsight and fill in the numbers in Categories 1-4.

    4. I would then solve for X to find the cost of the project.

    --------------------------------------------

    So here is where I am stuck....

    Based on the following factors that I now know, I want to solve for X:

    M = Minutes of Final Project
    Q = Quality of Project (1-5)
    I = Post-Production Intensiveness (1-10)
    C = Layers of clients above us - (1-5)
    T = Time spent on project
    P = Total Price

    I am not sure how I would add, multiply, the factors to create the equation...I think if I was solving for actual price it would be something like this....

    M*((Q*I*C)/3)*X = P


    I am curious if anyone can give me insight as I get ready to go back and analyze the numbers if I should be going in a different direction or if I am on track.

    Thanks for any help!
    You want a multiplicative model for the price, so you have:

    k*M*Q*I*C = P

    where k is a constant of proportionality.

    The first thing you should do is plot a scatter plot of P against M*Q*I*C, that will tell you if this is going to give a useful model. Then if the data are vaguely linear and pointing at (0,0) then k will be the gradient of best fit line through the origin.


    RonL
    Last edited by CaptainBlack; August 10th 2008 at 11:47 PM.
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