Practical Software Estimation Measurement

Announcing SLIM 8.2 for Resource Demand Management and Capacity Planning

QSM is pleased to announce the release of SLIM Suite 8.2, which, for the first time, provides the ability to perform enhanced top-down estimation for capacity planning. Unlike other resource demand management tools that rely on bottom-up estimates, QSM is the first in the industry to provide detailed resource breakdowns, utilizing a more accurate top-down approach. Top-down estimation accounts for even the unpredictable aspects of IT project implementation that a bottom-up approach does not, such as unrealistic project goals, miscommunication among team members and rework, which may account for up to 60% of the total effort on a project. With this information, project managers can more confidently choose the project team and assign the detailed tasks to the team at hand, improving accuracy for planning and executing successful IT projects while fully utilizing existing resources for individual projects, as well as longer term resource capacity planning. New APIs for this resource information allow organizations to integrate SLIM with the enterprise resource management (PPM) tools that they are currently using. 

In addition to top-down resource demand, other new features introduced with the 8.2 release include:

  • Configurable menu items for custom extensions/integrations. All applications in the SLIM Suite now have the capability to call executable programs directly from the SLIM tool, such as resource management tools. Users can add custom utilities to modify estimates, or integrate SLIM data with other tools.
  • Greater support for organizations using Agile development methods. New, coordinated Agile templates for SLIM-Estimate and SLIM-Control will now provide customizable settings (milestones, tuning factors, skill configurations, sizing techniques) used in typical Agile environments. QSM also provides a utility to update these settings based on the chosen iteration length.
  • Enhanced visual reporting capabilities. Updated reporting capabilities will allow users to see estimation results in multiple formats, including many new chart and graphing options.
  • New workbook color and font themes. The QSM default workbook colors, fonts, and graphic settings have been enhanced to provide a fresher and cleaner appearance.

QSM also provides several new utilities that extend the functionality of SLIM Suite 8.2. These new tools are located in the Utilities section of the QSM Downloads page.

  • Two new SLIM-DataManager SmartSheets provide a spreadsheet-style interface for interfacing with SLIM-DataManager using the DataManager API. This allows users to input data for a completed project via a spreadsheet, which automatically adds the project to a specified DataManager workbook. The utility also reads the contents of a SLIM-DataManager database and displays the data in spreadsheet format.
  • The Agile Adjuster Utility adjusts a SLIM-Estimate solution to match the number of iterations and iteration length in the project lifecycle.
  • The SLIM-MasterPlan Reader command line utility reads SLIM-MasterPlan workbook files and returns information about the subsystem files associated with a specific program in the workbook.
  • The SLIM-MasterPlan Skill Aggregator spreadsheet retrieves and aggregates cost, effort, or staffing data by skill from all SLIM-Estimate subsystems associated with the current solution in a MasterPlan workbook.
  • The SLIM-Multi-Project Skill Aggregator is a Microsoft Excel based spreadsheet that aggregates and displays the lifecycle staffing by skill data for all the SLIM-Estimate workbooks in a specified folder.

To learn more about these exciting new features, contact us!