QSM appreciates the challenges of implementing improved software estimation processes in any organization. Our workshops combine training with “roll up your sleeves” process and technique customizations that fit your environment and business needs. Upon completion, workshop participants will have tangible tools for producing defensible estimates and project plans.
Estimating And Tracking Agile Projects
Objective: Understand how to estimate and track agile projects at the project release and portfolio level which, in turn, helps establish more reasonable expectations for developer sprint/iteration level planning. Participants will learn how to "embrace change" in the estimation and tracking process while also effectively managing stakeholder expectations based on scope. Workshop content includes the most effective methods for sizing agile projects and uses SLIM as an example to show how a scope based parametric tool can be used to estimate and track effort/cost, duration and quality in an agile environment.
Take Away: Ability to estimate and track agile projects at various stages in the software development life cycle. Ability to explain, from a software estimation perspective, what makes software projects using agile methods truly unique vs. differences in terminology.
Essential Software Estimation
Objective: A tool agnostic course that covers the essential elements of software estimation to include the business purpose of estimation, the pros and cons of various estimation approaches, presenting estimates, using estimates for portfolio management and in-flight forecasting and implementing estimation best practices.
Take Away: Gain foundation knowledge in the essential elements of software estimation. This course is a recommended first step in beginning a software estimation process improvement initiative.
Software Product Size Estimation
Objective: Apply practical software size estimation methods which can be used to quantify the product scope, a key estimate driver. Participants will learn how to use the most popular software sizing methods to fit a variety of application types, development methodologies, and levels of detail available at the time of estimation.
Take Away: Ability to estimate software product size at various stages in the software development life cycle.
Function Point Counting
Objective: Understand and perform function point counts using the IFPUG standard methodology. The workshop focuses on building skills to measure software development work-products and then expressing the result in terms of functionality as seen by the business and end user’s perspective. This standard sizing technique promotes consistent estimates across multiple project types.
Take Away: Ability to count function points, along with counting exercises to build proficiency and begin preparing for certification.
Historical Data Collection
Objective: Identify completed project core metrics and their sources to serve as basis of estimation. Identify optional custom metrics. Collect and validate a sample of project data, and create a set of performance trend lines to support estimate validation. Design data collection maintenance and validation processes to grow the historical database as future projects are completed.
Take Away: Defined historical data elements, along with collection and validation processes to support SLIM estimates. Custom performance trends imported into SLIM-Estimate templates.
Software Lifecycle Customization
Objective: Customize SLIM lifecycle and project definition parameters to model participants’ development methods and environments. The workshop focuses on configuring SLIM phases, milestones, schedule activities, staffing profiles, and trend selection. Match sizing techniques to development methodologies.
Take Away: One or more configured SLIM templates, plus defined process for configuring templates for new project types.
Resource Demand Estimation
Objective: Provide a realistic demand estimate for resources and costs when different skill sets phase on and off the project. Define skill categories with specific labor rates in SLIM-Estimate templates to determine FTEs, effort, and cost by month by skill. Set the stage to feed an enterprise resource management/PPM system using the SLIM PPM framework.
Take Away: Multiple skill category definitions and allocation schemas with in SLIM templates to support a variety of project types.
Software Defect Estimation And Reliability Modeling
Objective: Understand SLIM’s reliability and defect prediction model, and calibrate it to the participants’ methodology. Map defect nomenclature and operational environment parameters to the SLIM model. Collect historical data to tune the defect forecasting model.
Take Away: Understand fundamental relationships between effort, size and defects. Leverage defect history to tune SLIM’s defect prediction model, define processes for improving product quality.
Objective: Apply QSM estimating approaches to emerging technologies and diverse project solutions such as agile, COTS/GOTS implementation, service oriented architecture (SOA), major code-refactoring, defect management and sustainment considerations. For each emerging technology/method, understand what is truly unique vs. simply differences in terminology and how those changes translate to an effective estimation approach.
Take Away: Estimating approaches for each for a new technology/project solution that can be tailored to any estimation tool/process. (Note: Customized courses may be tailored to introduce and/or utilize SLIM as the baseline estimation tool. Such course will provide one or more SLIM templates as take-ways to apply to each approach.)
We can package one hour to half day seminars for management education in any of these areas.