Too often, organizations that contract for software development services are at the mercy of vendors for cost and schedule estimates. Once a program office releases a request for proposal (RFP) for software development, it must somehow evaluate the validity of cost and schedule estimates that come back with the proposals. Or, a program might have a limited budget or schedule but not a clear understanding of what amount of development is actually feasible within these limitations. This article proposes an approach that can help buyers of software take control of this situation by providing the ability to objectively evaluate software development proposals, select the best value for their needs, and effectively manage acquisition costs from kickoff to product delivery. Reprinted by permission of the author.