A common misperception is that an estimator’s job is done after a software project’s parameters are set. On the contrary, software estimation should be conducted throughout the project lifecycle to reflect inevitable changes and to improve estimates on other projects. In this article, originally published in Projects at Work, Larry Putnam Jr. identifies three ways to maximize estimating efforts — before, during and after your project is complete.
Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog
QSM's recent webinar, From Proposal to Project: Getting Resource Demand Early, presented by Andy Berner and Keith Ciocco, featured a thoughtful Q&A session from our audience. Here are the highlights:
Q: Which PPM products does SLIM work with right now?
A: We're working with customers to see what products they're interested in. It's adaptable to multiple PPM systems and we'd like your input on which ones we should deliver for you early. We can work with you so you can build a customized input to your own system. So the framework is very general and is released as part of the SLIM product. We will be providing adapters to common PPM systems and that's what we would like to learn from our design partners - which ones to deliver first. (Note: if you are a SLIM customer or prospect, you can request to join our design group by emailing Keith Ciocco).
Q: You showed SLIM-WebServices. Does that come with the desktop tool? Do you use them separately or together?
A replay is available for this webinar, From Proposal to Project: Getting Resource Demand Early, presented by Andy Berner and Keith Ciocco.
When evaluating proposals, any good project manager knows it doesn't do any good to charter a project if the right people aren't available or if the cost and schedule are unrealistic. It becomes very important early on in the proposal process to be able to run accurate feasibility estimates that produce skilled staff outputs, matching resources needed for a project to the resources you have. This webinar, presented by QSM's Andy Berner and Keith Ciocco, demonstrates a powerful top-down approach, which allows organizations to do early resource planning and powerful what-if analysis without breaking out the work breakdown structure (WBS). This process matches the supply to the demand and is easy, credible, and correct.
Dr. Andy Berner has helped organizations improve their software development processes for over 20 years. He has "hands-on" experience with almost every role in software development. He is on the QSM software development team and is leading the work at QSM to incorporate Agile techniques into and enhance the resource demand management capabilities of the SLIM-Suite. He has recently published several articles on Agile methods and practices, focusing on planning projects to set realistic expectations. He has spoken at numerous conferences on software tools and methods, often with an emphasis on how to make sure that tools serve the team, rather than the other way around. He has an A.B. cum Laude in Mathematics from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has seven US Patents.
In agile development, getting the backlog ready and grooming it take serious consideration and work. You need to plan, budget for, and track this work. In a recent interview with Cameron Philipp-Edmonds of StickyMinds, Andy Berner talks about his upcoming presentation for Agile Development Conference East, the importance of keeping a well-groomed backlog, the pitfalls of the impossible zone, and why it's vital that you and your team keep your tools serving you and not the other way around.
Read the full interview transcript here!
This case study for Agile Connection by QSM's Taylor Putnam serves as an example of how adopting agile can be extremely beneficial to an organization, as long as situational factors are considered. Adopting a new development method is a strategic, long-term investment rather than a quick fix. As this article shows, making deliberate, fully formed decisions will ultimately lead to better outcomes.
Function points are proven to be effective and efficient units of measure for both agile/iterative and waterfall software deliveries. However, inconsistencies come to light when comparing function points counted in agile/iterative development with those counted in waterfall or combination development . These inconsistencies can create confusion for cost, productivity, and schedule evaluations that span multiple software delivery methods. This paper, recently published on IFPUG's Beyond MetricViews by QSM Consultant Carol Dekkers, seeks to marry International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) definitions with equivalent concepts in agile/iterative processes in order to create a basis for consistent comparison.
In the software project management field, projects go badly about 43% of the time and fail completely 18% of the time. While there are several reasons for this, and plenty of blame to go around, one of the easiest ways to reduce the risk is to start at the beginning – with the proposal. In a recent interview with Cameron Philipp-Edmonds of StickyMinds, Larry Putnam, Jr. talks about the importance of the proposal when executing a successful project. He identifies five key questions that should be answered before any project starts and how software estimation ties into the proposal process.
Read the full interview transcript here!
Enough already with Healthcare.gov and the many (many) other high-profile IT project failures; let’s talk about government software projects that actually worked. Successful software projects are no accident. Best-in-class government IT projects share common traits that agencies can use to ensure success. In a recent article for Government Computer News, QSM's Larry Putnam, Jr. leverages data from from the QSM Database to identify best practices for successful government projects.
Management decisions made before a software project is underway are a significant factor in determining whether it succeeds or fails. In a recent article for Projects at Work, QSM's Don Beckett identifies seven principles, based on comprehensive studies, that leaders must support and uphold to help create an environment in which projects can succeed. Ignoring them practically guarantees failure.
Don Beckett has 18 years of experience in software project estimation, measurement, and analysis. His responsibilities at QSM include research, consulting, and customer support. Don was an analyst/co-author of the 2006 QSM Software Almanac and has contributed articles to Crosstalk and Software Tech News.
In a recent interview on WUSA9's Government Contracting Weekly, a show devoted to winning government contracts, QSM Co-CEO Doug Putnam discussed data management with the show's host, Jim McCarthy. QSM was founded by Larry Putnam, Sr. in 1978 because he saw the need to supply quantitative evidence when justifying budgets for large government software projects. Doug explains the importance of leveraging quantitative measurement in today's dynamic goverment IT environment, from managing team size to improving quality. He also identifies the core metrics to track when starting your own metrics program. Watch the full episode above!