Parametric cost estimating, when properly used, is a very powerful and cost effective technique. Unfortunately, this technique is often misunderstood and rejected by many potential users for whom it could be a beneficial tool. The development of an agreement on how to use it and how to recognise its limitations is a major benefit to the cost estimating community. From Product Description to Cost: A Practical Approach: • presents different ways of parametrically forecasting costs, and the advantages and disadvantages of these methods by using real examples from the mechanical, software and building industries; • discusses most of the mathematical procedures which are useful for parametrically forecasting costs; • introduces the judgement needed to audit the ways in which these forecasting techniques are used, firstly as a process, and secondly as a tool to generate estimates. Volume 1: The Parametric Approach contains four parts. Over the course of this volume, cost estimating is introduced; the preparation of data before utilization is discussed; the basic concepts of ‘general’ cost estimating models are examined; the use of cost models is considered and finally, risk analysis (as it can be used during parametric cost estimating) is introduced.