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ROI Case Studies
Our tools and services have helped our clients save money, save time, make better decisions, and avoid disasters. Here are just a few examples of how we have helped our clients:
Avoided a Disaster by Setting Customer Expectations or Negotiating a Better Alternative
- Managing Expectations with SLIM-Control
Jim Kirk, a software quality manager for a major medical equipment supplier, was brought in to track the progress of an 8-9 month old cardio imaging software project. Because the team of software engineers had committed to an unrealistic schedule, they were producing unfinished, unreliable software that compromised the firm’s reputation for delivering high quality products. By implementing SLIM-Control to determine the rate of schedule slippage, Jim was able to present his findings and negotiate a more realistic schedule and reduce unnecessary requirements changes from the clients.
- Data from Thousands of Software Projects Saves the Day As Heuristic Solutions Puts SLIM-Estimate to Work
When can an increase in project costs be a good thing? When it saves a company’s business and meets project delivery dates at the same time. That was the experience of Heuristic Solutions, a custom Web applications development company based in Arlington, Virginia, which used SLIM-Estimate from QSM, Inc., in working out a software project estimate for a new business opportunity.
- Using SLIM to Avoid Making Disastrous Acquisition Decisions
A QSM client used SLIM-Estimate in an oversight role to evaluate internal vendor acquisition plans and decide if they were reasonable. This company had to rebuild a major application which was rapidly approaching obsolescence. The system was to be procured from an external source. SLIM-Estimate enabled the procuring authority to uncover an unrealistic proposal and then select a vendor that had a good technical solution along with an effective execution plan. Their successful use of SLIM helped them avoid a major schedule and cost overrun which would have been on the order of 9 months, 270 person months, and 3.3 million dollars.
Saved Time, Money and/or Produced a Better Quality Product
- SLIM Delivers $150 Million Telecommunications System on Time and Meets Quality Standards
A major telecommunications equipment supplier faced a familiar problem: how do managers deliver consistent, repeatable results in a distributed environment? To help formalize their estimation process, the equipment supplier purchased SLIM Suite and built a management process around our estimation and control tools. Their first major project involved a top tier buyer of their cellular switching products. Using SLIM-Estimate the client successfully negotiated an aggressive, but achievable schedule. By sticking to the plan generated in SLIM-Estimate and tracking the project actuals in SLIM-Control, the team delivered the $150 million development on time and met reliability goals while yielding an acceptable profit.
- Government IT Developer Saves Money, Frees Up Staff
A government client hired QSM to perform a software productivity benchmark on 18 completed financial applications ranging from 25,000-225,000 ESLOC. Compared against our Government IT trend lines the client’s productivity was average, yet their team sizes were 2-3 times the industry norm. This additional staff produced modest schedule compression, but development costs soared and the delivered products were buggier than average. A project manager was eager to adopt QSM's recommendation to use smaller team sizes. Our analysis helped him convince management to split his team in half, so he could free up resources to begin work on a new project. By doing this, they delivered a more reliable product with nearly twice as much functionality at a savings of $4.3 million dollars.
- Director of Engineering Uses SLIM-Estimate to Negotiate Smaller Staff
Lonnie Franks, Director of Engineering at a major software engineering firm, is hired to do a project estimate for a company in Hong Kong. By using SLIM-Estimate, he is able to justify a smaller team size. This increases overall productivity, allowing his group to complete the second phase of development in 2/3 of the time, even though it was 50% larger than the first phase.
Improved Efficiency of Estimation Process
- SLIM-Estimate Improves Efficiency of Estimation Group
A new customer’s first estimate with SLIM is a big financial application – a multi-year project, costing millions of dollars. In the past, three people over a three week time period were required to generate an estimate. Using the SLIM tools with QSM’s support, one estimator worked full time for three days interacting intermittently with various technical people, totaling approximately two man days. With this new approach, The customer realized 72 person hour savings equivalent to $7,200 in savings. Since the customer completes approximately 8 estimates a year, that translates into a time savings of 4.6 schedule months and a cost savings of $57,600.