Effort seems like a metric that's very straightforward, but there is a lot of complexity here, particularly if you are performing benchmark analysis. Recently, I was tapped to help out with a benchmark assessment. One of the metrics that the customer wanted to analyze was effort per function point. "Effort" on its own is very vague, and while the customer might know which phases or activities his organization uses, I can't be sure that definition will match what I think he wants. In order to effectively benchmark, we need to make an apples-to-apples comparison by examining what is really behind the effort number, so it was necessary to send the client phase and activity definitions.
Here are some helpful definitions to help you understand which activities are included in each phase:
After reading Best Projects/Worst Projects in the QSM IT Almanac, a SLIM-Estimate® user noted that the Best in Class Projects expended around 28% of their total project effort in analysis and design (SLIM Phase II) compared to 10% for the Worst in Class Projects. She wanted to know how she could tune her SLIM-Estimate templates to build in the typical best in class standard for Analysis and Design.
In SLIM-Estimate, effort and duration for phases I and II are calculated as a percentage of Phase III time and effort. To create a template for estimating phases II and III that will automatically allocate 28% of total project effort to analysis and design (Phase II), follow these simple steps.