QSM News

QSM News

"The Difference Engine" by Phillip Armour in Communications of the ACM

January's Communications of the ACM featured an article by QSM consultant Phillip Armour. "The Difference Engine" focuses on building teams of differently skilled people. The article is partly based on University of Michigan Professor of Complex Systems, Scott Page’s book, The Difference, which shows the power of cognitive diversity in building systems and solving problems. Phil will elaborate more on this subject in a upcoming series on the QSM blog, so stay tuned!

Download the PDF

Phil is a regular contributor to Communications of the ACM. You can read more of his articles here.


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QSM Consulting Receives Four “Exceptional” Ratings from Army CPAR

We are pleased to announce that QSM has received four "Exceptional" ratings from the Army Contractor Performance Assessment Report (CPAR). A CPAR assessment is based on objective facts and supported by program and contract management data, such as cost performance reports, customer comments, quality reviews, and earned contract incentives. The Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) is the Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Solution for collection of contractor Past Performance Information (PPI) as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Having provided software estimation tools, training and consulting services to the Army since 2004, we very much appreciate their feedback. We try to hire the best people in the business and hold ourselves to a high standard of exceptional performance on all our contracts. These recent CPAR ratings clearly validate the quality of our staff.

Read the full press release.

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Consulting QSM News

QSM Presentation at Better Software West 2012

Paul Below will be presenting "Optimal Project Performance: Factors that Influence Project Duration" at the 2012 Better Software West Conference on Thursday, June 14 at 4:00 PM.

Speedy delivery is almost always a primary project goal or a significant project constraint. To shorten project duration without sacrificing quality or budget, you need to know where to focus the team’s efforts. Mining the QSM database containing many quantitative metrics and numerous qualitative attributes, Paul Bellow shares the factors that have the greatest influence on project duration. While he’s at it, Paul debunks a couple of myths. For example, many managers consider team skill to be important in determining duration of software projects—not so. The most important factors are certain types of tooling, architecture, testing efficiency, and management/leadership skills, which Paul explores in depth. Learn a technique for normalizing your projects for size by computing the standardized residual of duration. Leave with new facts and data on how to improve your development skills and practices to increase velocity and keep the quality your customers expect.

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QSM News

QSM Awarded Contract with Army Cost Center

We are pleased to announce that the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA-CE) has contracted QSM to provide a comprehensive cost methodology, which includes tools, consulting support, and on-site training. This contract is a continuation of a successful working relationship between QSM and the Army that began in 2004. With the new contract, QSM will be providing estimation assistance on major ACAT 1 programs (major acquisition programs).  QSM will also help establish a metrics database with software data from the Defense and Cost Research Center (DCARC) and from DASA-CE data collection efforts. This database will be used for program analysis and evaluation. 

Read the full press release here.


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Consulting QSM News SLIM Suite

QSM Presentation at Gartner Symposium: Best Practices for Establishing a Successful Estimation Process

On October 17 at 7:30 PM, Keith Ciocco will be presenting "Best Practices for Establishing a Successful Estimation Process" at the Gartner Symposium ITXpo. This presentation covers best practices for project estimation. Keith will summarize some key things to remember when setting up a successful estimation process at the organizational and project level, including the importance of calibrating to historical data and measuring size and productivity.

QSM will also be exhibiting at this conference. Stop by booth ET3 and enter to win an iPad 2!

Find more information about the Gartner Symposium ITXpo here and Symposium Session Agenda here.

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QSM News

New SLIM Product Tour

We are pleased to announce that QSM has a new SLIM product tour. This online demo shows you how to quickly and easily use SLIM-Estimate to create an estimate validated by industry benchmarks or your own project history. The demo then demonstrates how to negotiate trade-offs and highlights some of the new features of the tool. The product tour also includes SLIM-MasterPlan, which allows you to roll-up multiple estimates and is ideal for iterative and non-iterative developments.

View the new SLIM demo here and tell us what you think!

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QSM News SLIM-Estimate

New Faces in QSM Support

The next time you call or email QSM for support, you may notice a few unfamiliar names or voices. That's because QSM Research and Support is growing!

The first addition to our team is Katie Costantini. Katie joined QSM as a temporary summer intern in May of this year. We were so delighted by the quality of her work that we recently offered her a full time position at QSM as a Technical Support and Documentation specialist.

Katie Costantini joins QSM Research and Technical Support with three years of customer service experience under her belt. Over the summer, she has been working hard to upgrade our product documentation to a newer platform and format. You'll see some of her work in the next edition of SLIM-Suite manuals and help. She also assisted with the redesign of our new FAQs page and has been helping us revamp our ramp up documentation and processes. Katie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University cum laude with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in Latin and Roman Studies. Raised in a Marine Corps family (ooh rah!), Katie has lived in California, North Carolina, Virginia, and Cairo, Egypt.

Over the next year, Kate will be working on support documentation and the next update of the QSM database and industry trend lines. Her strong quantitative background and stellar organizational skills are already helping us bring about some exciting changes that we'll be unveiling soon!

The second (chronologically speaking) addition to QSM Research & Support is Laura Zuber:

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New Additions to the QSM Team

QSM is pleased to announce we have been rapidly growing this year. To accommodate our new consulting services, training offerings, SLIM tool releases, and research projects, QSM has welcomed a wide range of talented and experienced team members.  Here's a brief overview of our recent additions:

Phil Armour joins the QSM Consulting Team with nearly 40 years of software consulting experience. A longtime SLIM trainer and teaming partner, Phil is also the author of The Laws of Software Process: A New Model for the Production and Management of Software and is contributing editor and author of the column “The Business of Software” in Communications of the ACM.

Another familiar face, Laura Zuber, also recently joined the QSM Consulting Team. Laura has 20 years of experience in software development consulting and training, six of which have been with QSM. Prior to coming to QSM, Laura managed software development projects, and served as a senior software process improvement specialist at SAIC. 

A longtime customer of SLIM at Boeing, John Staiger is a distinguished graduate of the Navy War College and Six Sigma Black Belt with over 30 years of experience in program and project management and statistical analysis. John assists with SLIM Training, as well as consulting and research work.

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QSM News

SLIM-Control support for Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management V3 is validated as ‘Ready for IBM Rational’ software.

MCLEAN, Virginia – QSM, Inc., a leader in software and systems development estimation, planning, and project management, today announced that they have upgraded their integration of SLIM-Control to support IBM Rational Team Concert V3.0.1.

Rational Team Concert provides a unique team collaborative development environment enabling productivity and quality in modern software development. Project data in Team Concert, such as Work Items (stories planned; stories completed) and Quality (defects found; defects corrected) can be retrieved by QSM’s SLIM-Control to perform its project analysis:

  • Variance analysis assesses project health and progress
  • Adaptive forecasts-to-complete based on progress metrics indicated

“With SLIM-Control, our goal is to help our clients track their projects to their estimates and allow them to adapt as necessary,” says Larry Putnam, Jr., Co-CEO of QSM. “This integration allows users to bring their project data in RTC into SLIM-Control so they can quickly and easily forecast alternatives.”

“QSM’s offering, with its proven track record,” said Michael Loria, Vice President of IBM Rational Business Development, “operating on real project data in Rational Team Concert, can help our clients negotiate achievable goals, set realistic expectations and communicate more effectively with colleagues and customers in an increasingly collaborative fashion.”

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SLIM-Control QSM News IBM Rational

SLIM 8.0f1: Estimating Beyond Software

In recent years, we have seen our client base become increasingly diverse, expressing the need for our estimation, tracking, and benchmarking tools for design processes outside of just software. While clients have customized SLIM to other design disciplines in the past, our goal with SLIM 8.0 was to increase configurability within our tools so our users can model any type of system quickly and easily. Now users can forecast and benchmark Agile, infrastructure, offshore/multi-shore, ERP/package implementation projects, and more.  In addition to updated trendlines from 10,000 completed software and systems projects, SLIM comes pre-packaged with trend groups, such as Agile, ERP, Financial, Web, and Government.

Read the full press release with detailed product upgrades here.

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