Practical Software Measurement

 

Averages Considered Harmful

Arithmetic mean (aka average) is often a misleading number. One reason for this is that mean is sensitive to outliers. A very large or a very small value can greatly influence the average. In those situations a better measure of center is the median (the 50th percentile). But there is a second huge pitfall awaiting anyone using average for estimating or benchmarking: software size.

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Webinar Replay - What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0

SLIM-Suite 9.0

A foundation of the SLIM philosophy is to know what your team is capable of producing and never promise to deliver more than those finite limits. Leveraging a history of completed project core metrics enables you to quantify your capabilities, and not only provide a defensible basis of estimation, but support statistical analysis for project benchmarking and identifying performance improvement opportunities.

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New Article: An Updated Software Almanac

Industry expert Phillip Armour highlights the importance of the QSM Software Almanac: 2014 Research Edition in his recent article for Communications of the ACM.

Software projects can be so complicated and so different from each other that predicting whether they will succeed or fail can be as difficult as forecasting the weather or picking winning stocks. Will the project entirely fulfill its goals? Will it deliver some value at a higher cost or later than desired? Or will it just crash and burn leaving the exhausted survivors to lick their wounds, bury the dead bodies, and shred the evidence?

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New Article: Full-Circle Estimating

 Full-Circle Estimating

While creating estimates is a fundamental step toward improving productivity on software development projects, it is not enough. In "Full-Circle Estimating," recently published on Projects at Work, Doug Putnam and Taylor Putnam-Majarian present a full-circle model that organizations can apply to track actual performance against estimates, reforecast when significant changes occur, and then continually refine the process through post-mortem assessment.

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Upcoming Webinar - What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0

On July 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM EDT, QSM's Laura Zuber presented What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0.

A foundation of the SLIM philosophy is to know what your team is capable of producing and never promise to deliver more than those finite limits. Leveraging a history of completed project core metrics enables you to quantify your capabilities, and not only provide a defensible basis of estimation, but support statistical analysis for project benchmarking and identifying performance improvement opportunities.

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Software Project Size and Road Construction

Software Project Size and Road ConstructionI have been a software project estimator for 20 years.  Like many people who have worked a long time in their profession, I find myself applying my work experience to other events in my life.  So, when a family member tells me that he or she will be back from a trip into town at 3:30, I look at their past performance (project history) and what they propose to do (project plan) and add an hour.  Usually, I am closer to the mark than they are.

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IEEE Presentation: Key Components of a Successful Estimation Process

Key Components of a Successful Estimation Process

Focused on planning for software projects, this IEEE presentation by Keith Ciocco explains some of the key components of a successful estimation process. This is a summary level view focusing on the importance of leveraging historical data, sizing, and measuring productivity when estimating at the organizational and project level. This presentation includes a demonstration of the SLIM Suite of tools to show how we can automate and streamline the estimation process.

Watch the replay of this presentation!

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QSM Releases SLIM 9.0 for Enhanced Data Collection and Management

QSM is pleased to announce the availability of SLIM Suite 9.0. The new release provides users with enhanced data collection features to more accurately plan software development projects based on industry statistics and trends.

This updated version of QSM’s cornerstone product improves integration between the desktop and the web and streamlines data entry, historical data collection, and analysis to increase data quality and accuracy throughout the software development lifecycle.

In addition to integration and data entry improvements, other new features introduced with today’s release include:

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Webinar Replay - Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2

Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2

When it comes to agile, there are common myths and misconceptions about project estimation and tracking. In Part 2 of this PDU-approved two-part webinar series (which can be viewed independently or together), presented by QSM's Andy Berner offers corrections to these, such as:

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New Workshop: Estimating and Tracking Agile Projects

QSM is pleased to introduce our Estimating and Tracking Agile Projects workshop, the latest in our popular workshop series.  We introduced a number of workshop offerings last year in response to a growing demand for basic educational courses on software estimation and project management from our clients and prospects. 

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