Dan Galorath

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Daniel D. Galorath is the President and CEO of Galorath Incorporated and the chief architect of SEER-SEM, an algorithmic project management software application. He is a recognized expert in the fields of software estimation and sizing [1] and the author of Software Sizing, Estimation, and Risk Management.


Dan Galorath attended California State University where he completed both his undergraduate and graduate work. He graduated in 1980 with an MBA in management.[1]

Following college, Galorath worked in software development with a focus on software management. One of his earliest forays into the creation of a software-based software estimation program found Galorath working with Don Reifer on the creation of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Softcost program for R. Tauseworth. The program was used for the majority of the 1980s and is seen as one of the forebears of modern software estimation systems.[2]

In 1984, Dan Galorath began consulting for Computer Economics, Inc. It was in that consulting role where Galorath became familiar with Dr. Randall Jensen's modifications to the Putnam model. While Jensen's work was a marked improvement on the original Putnam model, the work was not usable in a commercial environment. For CEI, Dan Galorath worked to design a more user-friendly software estimation program, which was known as CEI System-3.[3]

By 1988, Dan's company Galorath Inc had formed the SEER Technology Division and Galorath was working as one of the lead architects on the foundation of what would come to be known as SEER-SEM. SEER-SEM took the usability which was similar to the work Dan had done for CEI System-3 and added historical case studies and a graphic user interface. These advances made SEER-SEM an application which could be used by project managers to better estimate the needs for their software applications.[3]

Since its inception, Galorath and his company have made numerous improvements to the original SEER-SEM, adding a library of thousands of projects which have helped contribute to the product being used by companies ranging from aircraft manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman, to electronics manufacturer Siemens, and even the United States Department of Defense.

In 2006, Dan Galorath and Michael W Evans collaborated on a book about software estimation.

Galorath received a lifetime achievement award in 2009 from the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis.[4] The award honored his contributions toward the advancement of parametric modeling of cost, schedule, risk and reliability for software development and maintenance, hardware development, production, reducing the costs of parts and assembly, and IT projects and operations infrastructure and services.

Galorath continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Galorath Inc, which is headquartered in El Segundo, California.


Dan Galorath is the father of five, with children ranging from 11 to 26. He is married and lives in Palos Verdes, California. Dan is exceptionally physically fit and health conscious. His diet and exercise regimen was featured in the Wall Street Journal's health section.[5]


JPL Softcost[edit]

The JPL Softcost method originally developed for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is recognized as one of the earliest software estimation models. As the model's name suggests, it worked well at estimation cost and time, but was eventually replaced by JPL for its lack of risk estimation.[2]

CEI System-3[edit]

As a consultant, Galorath served as an architect developing System-3. The underlying model was based in part on the work of Dr. Randall Jenson's public domain modified Putnam model. Some of the characters shared between the two models include uncertainty the ability to estimate minimal time. CEI's System-3 greatly enhanced the usability of the Jensen's model, making it a realistic entrant into the software estimation market.[3]


The initial version of SEER-SEM was 22,000 lines of source code and only operated on Windows 2.0. The current version has grown to more than 200,000 source lines of code and is capable of outputting to many third party clients including Microsoft Project and IBM Rational. Current varieties of SEER are widely adopted across numerous fields including banking, automobile, aircraft, and electronics manufacturing, and the US Department of Defense. The program now handles every aspect of software production, estimating time, resources, expenses, and risk.[3]

Software sizing, estimation, and risk management[edit]

Barry Boehm, the Director of the Center for Software Engineering, University of Southern California, noted that this book helps to “identify the best investments for improving your software productivity and cycle time.” Though the book is written with SEER-SEM in mind, the general principles of the book apply to all types of software estimation models.[6]


  1. ^ a b Project Management Challenge 2006 Biography" [1] Accessed 6 May 2009
  2. ^ a b "Software Risk Estimation and Management at JPL." Jairus Hihn & Karen Lum. [2]
  3. ^ a b c d "Why SEER Got Started." [3] Accessed 7 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Thanks to SCEA for Dan's Lifetime Achievement Award." [4] Accessed 8 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Software CEO's 1,000 Calorie Diet." Jen Murphy. [5] Accessed 19 Feb 2009.
  6. ^ "Software Sizing, Estimation, and Risk Management: Amazon Editorial Review." Barry Boehm. [6] Accessed 27 Feb 2009.

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