Capacity Planning

Capacity Planning

From Proposal to Project Webinar Replay and Q&A Highlights

From Proposal to Project: Getting Resource Demand Early

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?

Webinar - From Proposal to Project: Getting Resource Demand Early

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.

The Best of Both Worlds: Leveraging Top-Down Estimation with Capacity Planning

Demand Management and Capacity PlanningSince I work for a software metrics and estimation company, many people ask me questions regarding capacity planning and demand management. Most of the project managers that I speak with are using project portfolio management tools for very detailed, task-level resource capacity planning. They spend a lot of time planning the person hours for each task and then these task-level plans are prioritized and viewed across the organization. These are useful tools and methods and they usually require a sizable investment.

The problem is that many of these project managers don’t have a good way to support demand management. That is to say that they aren’t able to accurately estimate the key drivers that go into their PPM tools.  They need to be able to answer key questions like: Should we commit to 6 months or 9 for the project duration? Do we need 10 software developers or 20 to finish in 9 months? How much is the overall project going to cost? What alternatives do we have? Has anyone ever achieved that duration in the past? Should we even go forward with this project; what is the risk?

Oftentimes the project manager comes up with this information informally based on experience. Unfortunately, when they don’t use a scientific approach to estimating, they leave out key factors that affect the estimate and project success, like project complexity, team efficiency, and overall project uncertainty.

From Proposal to Project: An Interview with Larry Putnam, Jr.

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!

Announcing SLIM 8.2 for Resource Demand Management and Capacity Planning

QSM is pleased to announce the release of SLIM Suite 8.2, which, for the first time, provides the ability to perform enhanced top-down estimation for capacity planning. Unlike other resource demand management tools that rely on bottom-up estimates, QSM is the first in the industry to provide detailed resource breakdowns, utilizing a more accurate top-down approach. Top-down estimation accounts for even the unpredictable aspects of IT project implementation that a bottom-up approach does not, such as unrealistic project goals, miscommunication among team members and rework, which may account for up to 60% of the total effort on a project. With this information, project managers can more confidently choose the project team and assign the detailed tasks to the team at hand, improving accuracy for planning and executing successful IT projects while fully utilizing existing resources for individual projects, as well as longer term resource capacity planning. New APIs for this resource information allow organizations to integrate SLIM with the enterprise resource management (PPM) tools that they are currently using. 

In addition to top-down resource demand, other new features introduced with the 8.2 release include: