Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

QSM Releases SLIM-Suite 10.3

We are pleased to anounce the release of SLIM-Suite 10.3, the latest version of our flagship software management tool suite. The pandemic has put enormous pressure on business leaders to utilize resources wisely while juggling development teams in remote locations. With that in mind, our goal with the newest release was to provide several small, yet powerful improvements designed to save time and increase consistency at every step of the project and portfolio planning process.

Improvements to SLIM-Estimate's Skills Breakout configuration make it easier to fine-tune skill categories and labor rates to support better resource demand planning at both the project and portfolio levels.  Additionally, the tool's API now exposes the Sizing and PI (Productivity Index, QSM's proprietary productivity measure) calculators for users who wish to leverage these features directly from a spreadsheet or other external applications.

SLIM-DataManager, QSM's database repository tool, has new functionality designed to make it easier to validate, understand, and analyze your portfolio of projects. Power editing and enhanced keyword management allow quick changes to multiple projects right from the master project list. Power editing makes it easy to add/update descriptive “tags” used to group projects into relevant categories for benchmarking and estimate calibration.

In addition to the new configuration capabilities, SLIM-Suite 10.3 features new agile enhancements, such as an updated SLIM-Estimate agile template. SLIM-Estimate and SLIM-Control now allow users to instantly toggle the display of agile increment lines between sprints, program increments, or both levels of detail.

Webinar Replay: Cost Optimization Best Practices for Software and IT Budgeting

Cost Optimization for Software and IT Budgeting Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "Cost Optimization Best Practices for Software and IT Budgeting," a replay is now available.

Managing spending and ensuring there is enough organizational capacity to fulfill client and stakeholder demands are challenges that thousands of software development and IT managers face every day. Leveraging a reliable data driven estimation and oversight process can save millions of dollars annually when carried out the right way. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco explains some of the best practices that QSM uses to help our clients improve their effectiveness when planning their project and portfolio budgets.

Watch the replay!

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webinar IT Budgeting Capacity Planning

Upcoming Webinar: Cost Optimization Best Practices for Software and IT Budgeting

Cost Optimization for Software and IT Budgeting Webinar

Managing spending and ensuring there is enough organizational capacity to fulfill client and stakeholder demands are challenges that thousands of software development and IT managers face every day. Leveraging a reliable data driven estimation and oversight process can save millions of dollars annually when carried out the right way. In this webinar presented on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:00 PM EDT, Keith Ciocco will explain some of the best practices that QSM uses to help our clients improve their effectiveness when planning their project and portfolio budgets.

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
webinar IT Budgeting Capacity Planning

Webinar Replay: Leverage Top-Down Estimation for Better IT Planning

Top-Down Estimation Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "Leverage Top-Down Estimation for Better IT Planning," a replay is now available.

Technology organizations spend millions of dollars a year on IT project planning, delivery, and proposal work. Major questions around cost, duration, scope, and quality are at the forefront of the decision making process. All of this combined with the pressure of ensuring plans and proposals are realistic can make this process a challenging one.

Being able to generate early, top-down estimates while leveraging industry data and empirically-based models is essential to negotiating realistic goals and meeting customer expectations. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco will show how QSM’s SaaS solution, SLIM-Collaborate, can be leveraged early in the planning and proposal process to help meet these challenges.

Watch the Replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Estimation Webinars SLIM-Collaborate

Upcoming Webinar: Leverage Top-Down Estimation for Better IT Planning

Top-Down Estimation Webinar

Technology organizations spend millions of dollars a year on IT project planning, delivery, and proposal work. Major questions around cost, duration, scope, and quality are at the forefront of the decision making process. All of this combined with the pressure of ensuring plans and proposals are realistic can make this process a challenging one.

Being able to generate early, top-down estimates while leveraging industry data and empirically-based models is essential to negotiating realistic goals and meeting customer expectations. In this webinar presented on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 1 PM EST, Keith Ciocco will show how QSM’s SaaS solution, SLIM-Collaborate, can be leveraged early in the planning and proposal process to help meet these challenges.

Register here!

Blog Post Categories 
Estimation Webinars SLIM-Collaborate

Webinar Replay: Using Metrics to Manage Runaway IT Projects

Using Metrics to Manage Runaway IT Projects

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar on Using Metrics to Manage Runaway IT Projects, a replay is now available.

Technology organizations spend thousands of hours a month planning and delivering their software engineering, cloud, and IT transformation projects. Unfortunately many of these projects start off with unrealistic expectations around cost, duration and scope; or they start fine, but then customer requirements change. Being able to generate metrics analysis and adaptive forecasting when projects are in trouble is essential to saving money and time. All of this combined with the need to negotiate and reset expectations can make this process a challenging one. In this webinar, Keith Ciocco will show how estimation and control tools can be leveraged early and while projects are in-flight.

Watch the Replay!

Blog Post Categories 
SLIM-Control Tracking Estimation Webinars

Upcoming Webinar: Using Metrics to Manage Runaway IT Projects

Using Metrics to Manage Runaway IT Projects

Technology organizations spend thousands of hours a month planning and delivering their software engineering, cloud, and IT transformation projects. Unfortunately many of these projects start off with unrealistic expectations around cost, duration and scope; or they start fine, but then customer requirements change. Being able to generate metrics analysis and adaptive forecasting when projects are in trouble is essential to saving money and time. All of this combined with the need to negotiate and reset expectations can make this process a challenging one. In this webinar, presented on Thursday, January 21 at 1:00 PM ESTKeith Ciocco will show how estimation and control tools can be leveraged early and while projects are in-flight.

Register here!

Blog Post Categories 
SLIM-Control Tracking Estimation Webinars

QSM's Most Popular Resources of 2020 - Estimation, Sizing, Cloud Migration, Agile and More!

Top Software Estimation Resources in 2020

This year has brought many challenges. Many of us have pivoted to working remotely, trying to maintain open communication with our teams while confronting new business problems presented by COVID-19. At QSM, we've made it our goal to provide the resources our clients need during this period of uncertainty, whether it's online support, consulting, or virtual training. We've also worked to continue offering a steady stream of free resources to the online community, such as webinars, white papers, and blog posts. So as we close out 2020, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of our most popular. 

We'll start with one of our most widely-attended webinars to date, "Taking Software Estimation and Planning to a Higher Level." Being able to generate estimates early before detailed planning takes place is essential and can have a major impact on annual budgeting, resource allocation and cost and schedule overruns. A useful presentation if you're new to estimation or if you're a seasoned estimator, this PDU-approved webinar summarizes best practices for top-down estimation and how to leverage estimation tools. Make sure and watch until the end to catch the lively Q&A session from our audience!

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Estimation Agile Sizing cloud

6 Essential Software Sizing Resources

Software Project Sizing

Project managers and estimators have long struggled with the issue of how to measure software size. Really, before you can calculate cost and schedule, you will need some notion of how big the project will be. There are myriad of ways to size a project depending on the methodology you use and where you are in the planning process. Here at QSM, it's one of the common questions we receive, so we've devoted many years of research to the topic. Our website features a wealth of resources on sizing and in this post, we will highlight a few of the most valuable for anyone grappling with this issue or looking for a place to start.

General Sizing

  • QSM's Software Sizing infographic is a great place to start. This easy to understand visual resource helps explain the most popular sizing methods and when to use them, the difference between functional and technical size, sizing challenges and more!
  • Measuring Software Size - Insights from the Past to Guide the Future is another helpful guide if you're struggling with which sizing units to use. This PDU-approved webinar will help you determine what sizing measure will work for you based on your own historical data. This presentation is worth a watch no matter what development methodology you use and can help improve future estimates and in-flight project forecasts.

Function Points

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Sizing Software Sizing Estimation

Webinar Replay: Increase PMO Collaboration to Improve IT Portfolio Management

PMO Estimation Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, "Increase PMO Collaboration to Improve IT Portfolio Management," a replay is now available.

IT project portfolios are diverse - technologies, platforms, methods, resources and more! Ensuring that project priorities align with business strategies and resource demand requires project intelligence and better estimation capabilities. Join Keith Ciocco and Laura Zuber for this PDU-approved webinar to learn how to leverage centralized data about scope, capacity, cost, staffing and quality to explore estimate solutions that overcome common PMO challenges of shrinking budgets and scarce resources. See how tailored access and process workflow increase visibility and provide the tools for effective project prioritization, review and governance.

Watch the replay!

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PMO webinar SLIM-Collaborate