California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

E. Prepare and Approve PID (WBS 150.25) - Circulate, Review and Approve PID (WBS 150.25.20)

P81. Develop Consultant Contract Cost Estimate

There are two major components needed to develop a Contract estimate. The most significant component is the resource estimate. The resource estimate is developed by estimating the hours of work that will be performed by consultant’s team members in performing the work tasks. The estimated hours needed to perform the work are then multiplied by the hourly rates for the various members of the Consultant’s team. The other major cost estimate component is the other direct costs (ODC) involved. ODC includes travel and per diem expenses, phone costs, computer costs, reproduction costs, mail costs, etc. The ODC can be roughly estimated as a percentage of the resource estimate cost. One area that is easily overlooked is the amount of travel that may be needed to accomplish the work items.

The Contract Manager develops the overall State’s resource cost estimate based on scope of work information contained in the Specific Project Draft Contract or Draft Task Order. If the work that is to be contracted out consists of roadway design, hydraulics, and electrical work, then the Functional Units that would normally perform this work are responsible for preparing their portion of the resource cost estimate. The Contract Manager would be responsible for combining the various Functional Unit resource estimates into a combined resource cost estimate. The Contract Manager must escalate the estimate by an approved overhead rate. This estimate is then used for budgeting and as the State’s starting position for cost negotiations with the Consultant.

The key elements needed to prepare a contract cost estimate includes a list of project work tasks by WBS that will be performed by the consultant, the deliverable products to be produced, and a proposed delivery schedule. This information is included in the Draft Contract. Using the Draft Contract information, each involved functional unit must estimate the number of worker hours it will take to perform the tasks and produce the deliverables on the proposed schedule. The estimate of hours must be separated by the members of the Consultants team as the consultant team members have differing rates of pay (project manager, project engineer, draftsman, and clerical). The hours must also be separated by the fiscal year in which the work is to be performed. Cost estimates are typically put in spreadsheet form similar to project workplans. The District Contracts Unit may have boilerplate cost estimating spreadsheet for this purpose.


Division of Procurement and Contracts website

Architectural and Engineering Contract Resource Center website

Task Order Development Procedures

Project Management Directive (PMD008, dated 2/15/01, “Establishment of Consultant Services Units”)

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This page last updated November 20, 2010