Practical Software Estimation Measurement

What Our Major QSM Database Update Means to the Software and IT Community

QSM Database Update

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QSM recently announced a major update to the QSM Software Project Database, a large and robust body of data that helps software and IT professionals estimate the cost, time and effort requirements for their software and systems projects. As a result, QSM clients and SLIM Suite users can benefit from the most up-to-date and expansive software project benchmarking data, particularly in the agile domain.

With this large update, we’ve validated and added more than 2,500 new projects across nine major application domains (Avionics, IT, Command & Control, Microcode, Process Control, Real Time, Scientific, System Software, and Telecom) and 45 sub-domains. The result is a database with more than 13,000 completed projects, extending what is already the largest continuously updated software project metrics database in the world.

With these enhanced data insights -- all gathered from real-world projects -- SLIM Suite users have access to the most up-to-date software project benchmarking data and can quickly and easily sanity-check estimates against industry data.

IT and Agile Projects Get a Boost

Notable as part of this update was that the majority of new projects added were in the IT application domain, with a substantial addition to agile projects (up by 340 percent). As agile becomes the new norm for software development, software estimation plays a critical role in the agile development world.

Despite agile development’s emphasis on iteration and incremental methodologies, scope-based software estimation can be a powerful tool to ensure that projects remain on course and on budget. It is possible for schedule and budget estimation to be achieved without sacrificing any of the things that make agile development so potent.

Estimation can be used to identify potential risks right from the beginning, while giving both developers and executives a better perspective on project budgets and delivery timeframes -- enormously important factors to those cutting the checks. All of this can be done in conjunction with agile development processes.

New Insights into the Nuances of Agile Project Success

Data gathered from agile projects during this update also resulted in some changes to the agile trend line, such as revealing insights into the factors that influence productivity and time to market when utilizing agile development methodologies. You can also check out the latest QSM Software Almanac to see the research from the database.

Our Data Collection Process

Where does all this data come from? Since 1978, QSM has collected completed project data from licensed SLIM Suite users and trained QSM consulting staff. Data contributors include the Department of Defense; civilian commercial firms; and national, state, and local government entities.

Consulting data is also collected by permission during productivity assessment, benchmark, software estimation, project audit, and cost-to-complete engagements.

For more information about our latest database update, check out our press release, which gives further details on the impact that the update has had on projects across our application domains. And be sure to visit the QSM database page to learn more about our data collection procedures, data methodologies, how to access and use the database, and much more.

Blog Post Categories 
QSM Database Agile