Practical Software Measurement
When an organization wants to proactively manage their software activities from inception through development and sustainment, an enterprise software estimation or acquisition Center of Excellence (COE) is a great solution. A significant portion of our professional services business at QSM is helping companies design and stand up enterprise COE operations.
There are three main components to a successful COE implementation. They are:
There is an old adage that if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We use the lessons learned and experience we have gained to address current issues. But if the problem (or software project) we face today is fundamentally different from those we’ve dealt with previously, past experience isn’t the proper framework. In effect, we will be using a hammer when a saw or a chisel might be the tools we need.
The solution, of course, is to first gain an understanding of the problem at hand. What are its defining features? How does it behave? Only then can a proper solution be designed and the appropriate tools selected.
On Thursday, March 26th at 1:00 PM EDT, Joe Madden will present QSM's Software Sizing Infographic: A Visual Aid for Understanding Software Size.
It’s easy to imagine there is a lot of complex computer software code required to operate and control a fully autonomous self-driving car, such as the prototype recently unveiled by Google, and that advanced systems engineering and software life cycle management techniques are required to successfully manage its development. However, you may be surprised to find out that nearly every vehicle under 30 years old on the road today also depends on computer software - and lots of it.
Software size, the amount of functionality in a given software release, is arguably the most important of the five core metrics of software estimation. There is little point in tracking effort, duration, productivity and quality if you are unable to quantify what you are building.
At QSM, we have one of the largest industry databases in the world of completed software projects. The data comes from our clients with their permission and this data has been the backbone of our software estimation business for over 35 years. We can see what is reasonable on software development projects as it relates to cost, team size, effort, duration, size, and reliability. Because of our experience we are often asked about risk factors and estimation accuracy early in the project lifecycle. We explain that increased accuracy comes with having historical data and good sizing information.
How in the world does landing on an aircraft carrier relate to software estimation? Anyone who has ever experienced the terror joy of landing a jet on an aircraft carrier, especially on that dark, stormy night with no moon and a pitching deck, appreciates the importance of a good start. Your line-up is critical, as is your airspeed, angle-of-attack and attention to the "ball" – that tiny little yellow dot between the rows of green lights.
If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "Avoiding Disaster in IT Outsourcing: A Quantitative Solution for Vendor Management," a replay is now available.
In the Forbes article “Now Every Company is a Software Company,” David Kirkpatrick argues “regardless of industry your company is now a software company, and pretending that it’s not spells serious peril.”
As organizations in nearly every industry sector transform into software companies, many executives, project managers, and procurement departments are being thrust into the role of managing IT vendors on software projects, yet they do not have the expertise to do so effectively. Typical pain points include:
QSM is pleased to announce the launch of a new workshop series focused on addressing the challenges organizations encounter when implementing software estimation processes. The series offers eight customizable workshops that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual company and its business goals.
Workshops include product training for users of QSM's SLIM Suite, as well as estimation fundamentals that are tool agnostic: