Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

Elisabeth Pendergrass's blog

New Book - Understanding Software Estimation, Negotiation, and Demand Management: An Executive Primer

Understanding Software Estimation, Negotiation, and Enterprise Demand Management: An Executive Primer

QSM is pleased to announce the release of a new book, Understanding Software Estimation, Negotiation, and Demand Management: An Executive Primer. Historically, only 20% of software projects are completed successfully and with software becoming critical to nearly every company and industry, having such a high rate of failure is simply unacceptable anymore. It is for this reason that QSM has compiled this collection of articles that will aid anyone from project managers to CIOs in implementing software estimation, negotiation and demand management methods efficiently to reduce costs.

Larry Putnam, Sr., founder of QSM and a pioneer and top problem solver in the software estimation and measurement field, provides the foreword to the book, which is co-authored by his son and granddaughter, Doug Putnam and Taylor Putnam-Majarian. Combined, the authors bring more than 40 years of experience in software measurement to a range of topics, including:

Webinar Replay - What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0

SLIM-Suite 9.0

A foundation of the SLIM philosophy is to know what your team is capable of producing and never promise to deliver more than those finite limits. Leveraging a history of completed project core metrics enables you to quantify your capabilities, and not only provide a defensible basis of estimation, but support statistical analysis for project benchmarking and identifying performance improvement opportunities.

QSM's newest release of SLIM-Suite, version 9.0, provides a number of enhancements to simplify and organize completed project data in SLIM-DataManager and manage data set definitions and queries in SLIM-Metrics. In this webinar, Laura Zuber demonstrates key new features of both products. You will see how providing project size details, master keyword lists, multiple view layouts, and multi-select variable analysis equip you to expand your historical project repository and increase its use.

Watch the replay!

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Webinars SLIM Suite

New Article: An Updated Software Almanac

Industry expert Phillip Armour highlights the importance of the QSM Software Almanac: 2014 Research Edition in his recent article for Communications of the ACM.

Software projects can be so complicated and so different from each other that predicting whether they will succeed or fail can be as difficult as forecasting the weather or picking winning stocks. Will the project entirely fulfill its goals? Will it deliver some value at a higher cost or later than desired? Or will it just crash and burn leaving the exhausted survivors to lick their wounds, bury the dead bodies, and shred the evidence?

Courageous efforts are being made to collect and codify the data that is available, to try to spot what trends are occurring in the industry, and to provide some useful guidelines for managing the business of software. The recently published QSM Software Almanac, dubbed the "2014 Research Edition," is an example of this.

Read the full article!

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QSM News Articles

New Article: Full-Circle Estimating

 Full-Circle Estimating

While creating estimates is a fundamental step toward improving productivity on software development projects, it is not enough. In "Full-Circle Estimating," recently published on Projects at Work, Doug Putnam and Taylor Putnam-Majarian present a full-circle model that organizations can apply to track actual performance against estimates, reforecast when significant changes occur, and then continually refine the process through post-mortem assessment.

Doug Putnam is co-CEO for Quantitative Software Management (QSM). He has 35 years of experience in the software measurement field and has been instrumental in the development of the SLIM Suite of software estimation and measurement tools. C. Taylor Putnam-Majarian is a consulting analyst at QSM with over seven years of specialized data analysis, testing and research experience. In addition to providing consulting support in software estimation and benchmarking engagements to clients from both the commercial and government sectors, Taylor has authored numerous publications about Agile development, software estimation and process improvement.

Read the full article!

Blog Post Categories 
Estimation Articles

Upcoming Webinar - What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0

On July 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM EDT, QSM's Laura Zuber presented What's New in SLIM-Suite 9.0.

A foundation of the SLIM philosophy is to know what your team is capable of producing and never promise to deliver more than those finite limits. Leveraging a history of completed project core metrics enables you to quantify your capabilities, and not only provide a defensible basis of estimation, but support statistical analysis for project benchmarking and identifying performance improvement opportunities.

QSM's newest release of SLIM-Suite, version 9.0, provides a number of enhancements to simplify and organize completed project data in SLIM-DataManager and manage data sets definitions and queries in SLIM-Metrics. In this webinar, Laura Zuber will demonstrate key new features of both products. You will see how providing project size details, master keyword lists, multiple view layouts, and multi-select variable analysis equip you to expand your historical project repository and increase its use.

Laura Zuber has 20 years of experience in software development consulting and training. She has conducted training and demonstrations for all QSM SLIM Suite Tools and assisted with QSM Support. Laura has managed software development projects, served as a senior software process improvement specialist, performed process assessments, designed and implemented best practices, and co-lead corporate metrics training program.

Watch the replay!

Blog Post Categories 
Webinars SLIM Suite

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!

Blog Post Categories 
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.

Blog Post Categories 
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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