Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

IEEE Presentation: Key Components of a Successful Estimation Process

Key Components of a Successful Estimation Process

Focused on planning for software projects, this IEEE presentation by Keith Ciocco explains some of the key components of a successful estimation process. This is a summary level view focusing on the importance of leveraging historical data, sizing, and measuring productivity when estimating at the organizational and project level. This presentation includes a demonstration of the SLIM Suite of tools to show how we can automate and streamline the estimation process.

Watch the replay of this presentation!

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Webinars Estimation

QSM Releases SLIM 9.0 for Enhanced Data Collection and Management

QSM is pleased to announce the availability of SLIM Suite 9.0. The new release provides users with enhanced data collection features to more accurately plan software development projects based on industry statistics and trends.

This updated version of QSM’s cornerstone product improves integration between the desktop and the web and streamlines data entry, historical data collection, and analysis to increase data quality and accuracy throughout the software development lifecycle.

In addition to integration and data entry improvements, other new features introduced with today’s release include:

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QSM News

Webinar Replay - Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2

Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2

When it comes to agile, there are common myths and misconceptions about project estimation and tracking. In Part 2 of this PDU-approved two-part webinar series (which can be viewed independently or together), presented by QSM's Andy Berner offers corrections to these, such as:

  • Why velocity is not a good predictor of release duration
  • Why burndown charts will not be close to straight lines
  • Why change and churn are not the same thing
  • Why looking at just the values of metrics alone is not enough

While some longstanding principles about software estimation still apply, agile methods require some significant changes to how we estimate. This webinar shows you how to leverage the SLIM estimation and tracking tools to properly interpret metrics collected by agile teams and ensure that agile projects meet their goals. Andy Berner demonstrates how SLIM fits with the principles of agile development, and discusses milestones, productivity, project control, data collection, and looks with an eye towards further research.

Watch the replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Agile

New Workshop: Estimating and Tracking Agile Projects

QSM is pleased to introduce our Estimating and Tracking Agile Projects workshop, the latest in our popular workshop series.  We introduced a number of workshop offerings last year in response to a growing demand for basic educational courses on software estimation and project management from our clients and prospects. 

The purpose of our Estimation and Tracking Agile Projects workshop is to give students a clear understanding of how to estimate and track agile projects at the project release and portfolio level which, in turn, helps establish more reasonable expectations for developer sprint/iteration level planning. Participants will learn how to "embrace change" in the estimation and tracking process while also effectively managing stakeholder expectations based on scope. The workshop content includes the most effective methods for sizing agile projects and uses SLIM as an example to show how a scope based parametric tool can be used to estimate and track effort/cost, duration and quality in an agile environment.

After completing the workshop, attendees will have the ability to estimate and track agile projects at various stages in the software development life cycle. They will also be able to explain, from a software estimation perspective, what makes software projects using agile methods truly unique vs. differences in terminology.

QSM offers a number of additional agile resources for our clients and prospects, including articles, blog posts, and our upcoming Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2 webinar.

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Agile Tracking Training

QSM Selected as Gartner 2015 "Cool Vendor" for IT Vendor Management Services

We are pleased to announce that QSM has been included in the list of 2015 "Cool Vendors" in the IT Vendor Management category by Gartner, Inc.

Each year, Gartner identifies a collection of companies in key technology areas and publishes a series of research reports that objectively highlight these companies from a customer perspective. The reports are meant to be succinct, filter through hype, hone in on vetted and proven innovations, and identify those vendors that are creating unique value in their market space. Many of the organizations that Gartner profiles are transforming the way businesses and government agencies leverage technology in innovative and useful ways. As the universe of outsourcing and third-party IT services continues to expand, Gartner singled out three front-runners in the burgeoning field of strategic vendor management.

 “It is very gratifying to be recognized by Gartner,” says Joseph A. Madden, QSM’s Vice President of Professional Services. “The 2015 Cool Vendors in Vendor Management is an independent and well-researched piece, and we consider inclusion to be testament to our thought leadership and almost 40 years of contributions to the discipline of using project metrics to make smarter IT investments.” Madden added, “the unique QSM edge is to harness historical project information and quantitative measurement to remove a lot of the politics, emotion and bias from vendor relationships: the data seldom lies and has no agenda.”

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Consulting QSM News

PDU-Approved Webinar - Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 2

When it comes to agile, there are common myths and misconceptions about project estimation and tracking. In Part 2 of this PDU-approved two-part webinar series (which can be viewed independently or together), presented on May 28 at 1:00 PM EDT by QSM's Andy Berner offers corrections to these, such as:

  • Why velocity is not a good predictor of release duration
  • Why burndown charts will not be close to straight lines
  • Why change and churn are not the same thing
  • Why looking at just the values of metrics alone is not enough

While some longstanding principles about software estimation still apply, agile methods require some significant changes to how we estimate. This webinar shows you how to leverage the SLIM estimation and tracking tools to properly interpret metrics collected by agile teams and ensure that agile projects meet their goals. Andy Berner demonstrates how SLIM fits with the principles of agile development, and discusses milestones, productivity, project control, data collection, and look with an eye towards further research.

Register now!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Agile

Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 1 Webinar Replay and Q&A Highlights

Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths Webinar

Our recent webinar, Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths, Part 1, presented by Andy Berner, featured a lively Q&A session. Here are a few of the highlights that you can catch in the PDU-approved replay.

Q: You talked about different types of work and how they're done concurrently. What about the work of developing the system architecture?

A: How architecture is determined in agile projects is a really interesting question. Grady Booch, who is one of the great proponents of software architecture used to say that the biggest difference of opinion between him and Kent Beck, who is thought of as the inventor of agile, was the extent to which architecture is planned versus evolved. So there's controversy, but I think all agile methodologists would agree that some basic architecture constraints are an input to the coding work, and thus we would consider that as part of "getting to ready," and also agree that some detailed architecture decisions evolve along with the detailed design as part of “getting to done.” So it's split.  The more complex the project, the more likely you’ll need strong architectural input that was part of "getting to ready" and should plan more architectural effort as part of the "getting to ready" portion.

Q: Can you create an agile estimate using function points as an input?

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Webinars Agile

New Article: Failing with the Best Intentions

Failing with the Best Intentions

Enterprise application capacity planning is a difficult juggling act. On one side of the equation you have business demand, looking for innovative technology to help improve business performance and increase profitability. The IT organization stands on the other side of the equation, responsible for satisfying these demands. The capacity of this team is limited by the organization’s facilities, the number of developers and their specific skills, and the infrastructure and tools they use. This leaves the business and technology executives in the unenviable position of trying to balance the demand for IT development with the current capacity levels. In this article for Software Magazine, Doug Putnam and Taylor Putnam-Majarian demonstrate how top-down parametric estimation can be leveraged by organizations to manage capacity and demand effectively.

Read the full article!

New Webinar Series - Agile Estimation: Beyond the Myths

When it comes to agile, there are common myths and misconceptions about estimation.  In the first of this two-part webinar series (which can be viewed independently or together), presented on April 22 at 1:00 PM EDTQSM’s Andy Berner will offer corrections to these, such as:

  • Why we still need to estimate duration on agile projects
  • Why setting expectations based on scope is still important, even as we “embrace change”
  • Why you still need to plan for work on requirements, even though it’s not all “upfront”

While some longstanding principles about software estimation still apply, agile methods require some significant changes to how we estimate.  This webinar will show you how to tailor the SLIM estimation tools and methods specifically to an agile development environment to estimate, measure, and analyze your agile software development projects. Andy Berner will demonstrate how SLIM fits with the principles of agile development, and will discuss what needs to be estimated, how size factors in, and how to accommodate different iteration lengths and types of work.  This will allow you to optimize the choices and plans for the work of your agile teams. 

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars Agile

Twin-SPIN Presentation: Does Agile Scale? - A Short Case Study

On Thursday, April 9, QSM's Pam Simonovich will present Does Agile Scale? - A Short Case Study, hosted at the University of Minnesota.

This presentation uses completed project data as an example to show that when organizations make a conscious decision to adopt Agile methods in conjunction with other traditional development methodologies, these approaches can be effectively scaled and implemented for larger projects and enterprises – to a point.

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QSM News Agile