Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

New Article: The Problems with Software Development as Seen by Professional Estimators

Software Estimation Problems

When a project goes over schedule, costs too much money, or doesn’t deliver the desired functionality, business leaders may wonder what could have been done differently. Why not ask a professional estimator? Often, these are the people holding the crystal ball - those charged with planning and assessing the project before it even gets off the ground.

We recently polled our own seasoned estimation experts at QSM to find out their thoughts. With many years of forecasting, tracking, and benchmarking software projects under their collective belts, everyone from our consultants to our support and sales teams chimed in to compile a list of what estimators consider to be the most critical software development management issues. In this article, Don Beckett shares these lessons learned (and methods to solve them), which are invaluable to both project managers and C-level business leaders alike.

Read the full article!

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Estimation Articles

Webinar Replay: How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development Webinar

How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development," a replay is now available.

Software development is a major investment area for thousands of organizations worldwide. The negotiation and early planning meetings often revolve around major cost and schedule decisions. But one of the most important factors, reliability, often gets left behind in these early discussions. This is unfortunate since early reliability estimates can help ensure that a quality product is delivered and predict if it will finish on-time and within budget. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco shows how to leverage the QSM model-based tools to estimate and track the important reliability numbers along with cost, scope, and schedule.

This presentation includes a lively Q&A session with the audience and covers such topics as:

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Software Reliability Quality

Upcoming Webinar: How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development

How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development Webinar

On Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 1:00 PM EST, Keith Ciocco will present "How to Estimate Reliability for On-Time Software Development."

Software development is a major investment area for thousands of organizations worldwide. The negotiation and early planning meetings often revolve around major cost and schedule decisions. But one of the most important factors, reliability, often gets left behind in these early discussions. This is unfortunate since early reliability estimates can help ensure that a quality product is delivered and predict if it will finish on-time and within budget. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco will be showing how to leverage the QSM model-based tools to estimate and track the important reliability numbers along with cost, scope, and schedule.

Keith Ciocco has more than 30 years of experience working in sales and customer service, with 25 of those years spent with QSM. As Vice President, his primary responsibilities include supporting QSM clients with their estimation and measurement goals, managing business development and existing client relations. He has developed and directed the implementation of the sales and customer retention process within QSM and has played a leading role in communicating the value of the QSM tools and services to professionals in the software development, engineering and IT industries.      

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Estimation Software Reliability

Webinar Replay: Larry Putnam, Sr.'s Legacy and Understanding the Physics of Software Projects

Larry Putnam, Sr.'s Legacy and Understanding the Physics of Software Projects

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar highlighting the pioneering measurement work by Larry Putnam, Sr. and how it applies to today's estimation challenges, a replay is now available.

QSM was deeply saddened by the passing of our founder, Larry Putnam, Sr. just a few months ago. Larry's left behind a 40 year legacy in the software estimation and measurement field. His models were the basis for our SLIM-Suite of tools and many of his discoveries about the behavior of software projects still hold true today. In this webinar, his son and QSM Co-CEO Larry Putnam, Jr. reviews Larry Putnam, Sr.'s original research and the data it was based on. He then explores if that original research continues to stand the test of time when compared with data derived from modern development approaches. He also shows how modern agile development practices exploit some of the laws Larry discovered over 40 years ago. Finally, he discusses the role of estimation in today’s increasingly agile world.

Watch the replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Estimation

Upcoming Webinar: Larry Putnam, Sr.'s Legacy and Understanding the Physics of Software Projects

Larry Putnam, Sr.'s Legacy and Understanding the Physics of Software Projects

On Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 1:00 PM EDT, Larry Putnam, Jr. will present "Larry Putnam, Sr.'s Legacy and Understanding the Physics of Software Projects."

QSM was deeply saddened by the passing of our founder, Larry Putnam, Sr. just a few months ago. Larry's left behind a 40 year legacy in the software estimation and measurement field. His models were the basis for our SLIM-Suite of tools and many of his discoveries about the behavior of software projects still hold true today. In this webinar, his son and QSM Co-CEO Larry Putnam, Jr. reviews Larry Putnam, Sr.'s original research and the data it was based on. He then explores if that original research continues to stand the test of time when compared with data derived from modern development approaches. He also shows how modern agile development practices exploit some of the laws Larry discovered over 40 years ago. Finally, he discusses the role of estimation in today’s increasingly agile world.

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Estimation Agile

Webinar Replay: Critical Cost & Schedule Target Setting with Data-Driven Estimation

Cost and Schedule Target Setting Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "Critical Cost & Schedule Target Setting with Data-Driven Estimation," a replay is now available.

It might come as no surprise that technology organizations will spend millions of dollars this year on agile and traditional development programs. But did you know that many will lose big money and time because they don’t have an effective way to establish and negotiate reasonable cost, schedule, and quality targets? In this webinar, Keith Ciocco demonstrates how we use the QSM estimation tools to manage these major challenges and the uncertainty that can come with very early critical planning decisions.

Keith Ciocco has more than 30 years of experience working in sales and customer service, with 25 of those years spent with QSM. As Vice President, his primary responsibilities include supporting QSM clients with their estimation and measurement goals, managing business development and existing client relations. He has developed and directed the implementation of the sales and customer retention process within QSM and has played a leading role in communicating the value of the QSM tools and services to professionals in the software development, engineering and IT industries.   

Watch the replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars SLIM-Collaborate Estimation

Upcoming Webinar: Critical Cost & Schedule Target Setting with Data-Driven Estimation

Cost and Schedule Target Setting Webinar

On Wednesday, September 15th at 1:00 PM Eastern, QSM will host a free webinar, "Critical Cost & Schedule Target Setting with Data-Driven Estimation."

It might come as no surprise that technology organizations will spend millions of dollars this year on agile and traditional development programs. But did you know that many will lose big money and time because they don’t have an effective way to establish and negotiate reasonable cost, schedule, and quality targets? In this webinar, Keith Ciocco will demonstrate how we use the QSM estimation tools to manage these major challenges and the uncertainty that can come with very early critical planning decisions.

Keith Ciocco has more than 30 years of experience working in sales and customer service, with 25 of those years spent with QSM. As Vice President, his primary responsibilities include supporting QSM clients with their estimation and measurement goals, managing business development and existing client relations. He has developed and directed the implementation of the sales and customer retention process within QSM and has played a leading role in communicating the value of the QSM tools and services to professionals in the software development, engineering and IT industries.   

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars SLIM-Collaborate Estimation

Remembering Larry Putnam, Sr.

Larry Putnam, Sr.QSM is deeply saddened to share that our founder, Larry Putnam, Sr. passed away last week at the age of 91, leaving behind a 40 year legacy in the software estimation and measurement field.

Larry began his illustrious career in the military, graduating from West Point in 1952. He was commissioned in the Armor Branch and went on to serve 26 years on active duty. While in the service, he studied Nuclear Effects Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he obtained a Masters degree in Physics. 

But it was to be the relatively new field of software development where Larry would ultimately make his mark. He was assigned to manage the Army's computer program budget at the Pentagon in the mid-1970s. After struggling to defend his yearly budget to the Department of Defense (DoD) budget review authority (OSD) because he couldn't justify the staffing levels for one of his systems, he made it his mission to understand software engineering staffing and effort. Starting with the Rayleigh equation as the ideal way to apply people to a design-intensive project, he began collecting Army data to see if it followed the Rayleigh pattern.  Just from comparing the budget data to a group of about 15 systems, he was able to confirm it was a fit.  Using the simple projections of the Rayleigh curves, he was able to get the 50 systems currently in development under financial control.  (He speaks candidly of this experience in Roots Run Deep: The Journey to Software Application Estimation and Risk Management.)

Blog Post Categories 
Estimation QSM News SLIM Suite

Webinar Replay: Leveraging Historical Data for Better Software Development Estimation

Levering Historical Data for Better Software Estimation Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, a replay is now available.

Software development managers are often in a position where they need to communicate to stakeholders what their work is going to cost and how long it will take to deliver. Unrealistic targets can be set, because decisions are made based on gut feel instead of past performance, causing projects to be late and over budget. Leveraging historical data with project planning can change all of that. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco demonstrates some of the best practices and tools that QSM uses to help clients capture and analyze historical data for better estimation, process improvement, and early decision making.

Keith Ciocco has more than 30 years of experience working in sales and customer service, with 25 of those years spent with QSM. As Vice President, his primary responsibilities include supporting QSM clients with their estimation and measurement goals, managing business development and existing client relations. He has developed and directed the implementation of the sales and customer retention process within QSM and has played a leading role in communicating the value of the QSM tools and services to professionals in the software development, engineering and IT industries.   

Watch the replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Estimation Database

Upcoming Webinar: Leveraging Historical Data for Better Software Development Estimation

Levering Historical Data for Better Software Estimation Webinar

Software development managers are often in a position where they need to communicate to stakeholders what their work is going to cost and how long it will take to deliver. Unrealistic targets can be set, because decisions are made based on gut feel instead of past performance, causing projects to be late and over budget. Leveraging historical data with project planning can change all of that. In this webinar presented on Wednesday, July 14th at 1:00 PM EDT, Keith Ciocco will demonstrate some of the best practices and tools that QSM uses to help clients capture and analyze historical data for better estimation, process improvement, and early decision making.

Keith Ciocco has more than 30 years of experience working in sales and customer service, with 25 of those years spent with QSM. As Vice President, his primary responsibilities include supporting QSM clients with their estimation and measurement goals, managing business development and existing client relations. He has developed and directed the implementation of the sales and customer retention process within QSM and has played a leading role in communicating the value of the QSM tools and services to professionals in the software development, engineering and IT industries.   

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Estimation Database