SLIM Suite 8.0g2 Is Now Available for Download

As our clients expand into new design disciplines, QSM recognizes their need for estimation, tracking, and benchmarking tools for domains outside of just software. Our goal with SLIM 8.0 has been to increase configurability within our tools so our clients can model any type of system quickly and easily. With SLIM Suite 8.0g2, QSM continues to expand our offerings to support different design processes and increase ease of use.

SLIM Suite.  An auto-update notification feature has been added to detect when a newer version of the SLIM Suite exists and is available for download. Enhancements have also been added so Export to PowerPoint now defaults to .pptx file format and Export to Word now defaults to .docx file format where appropriate.

SLIM-Estimate. An "Update My Project Milestones" button has been added to the WBS tab of the Work Breakdown Structure dialog box to give clients the option to replace existing project milestones defined on the Milestones tab of the Project Environment dialog box with milestones defined in the WBS. Two new SEW templates, "Call Center" and "Data Center," have been added, leveraging new Infrastructure trends.

SLIM-Metrics. A new feature has been added to File | Import Workbook Components > Reference Data tab, which allows clients to import a specific reference group (as opposed to importing all reference groups in the source workbook).

If you are a current SLIM Suite client and would like to get the latest upgrade, please contact QSM Support.

Deploying Estimation the Right Way - a SLIM Customer Success Story

Two common questions we receive are “how quickly can we get SLIM deployed within our organization?” and “how accurate will our estimates be?” On the accuracy question, our answer is usually that “it depends”. Like most things, accuracy and success in estimating are directly correlated to the effort put into the task. If you buy a commercial estimating tool and try to use it “out of the box” with no tailoring and calibration, accuracy usually suffers. One of the most efficient ways to achieve both of these goals is to use your own historical data. This was an excellent example of how one of our global systems integration clients was able to get almost immediate value by calibrating SLIM-Estimate to their historical data.

This major integrator wanted to improve estimation at one of their accounts, a large multinational company.  In addition they wanted to use function points as their sizing metric. After evaluating a number of estimation options, including custom built and other internally developed solutions, they decided to use QSM’s SLIM-Estimate, which was being deployed globally across the rest of the organization. They decided to start with a pilot implementation. The estimation pilot lasted a total of 5 months with a staff of 2 people. After the fact they looked at the effort expended on their pilot activities and found that 60% of the total effort went into their calibration activities. The calibration  process included assembling a historical data sample of over 50 projects. As part of their function point deployment, they empirically determined FP/ESLOC gearing factors.

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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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SLIM-Estimate and IBM Rational Focal Point Integration Now Available

QSM and IBM Rational are pleased to announce yet another point of integration between SLIM and Rational tools.  Most projects overrun their schedules and budgets because of the lack of good estimates at the time commitments are made.  Project and portfolio management tools like Rational Focal Point are useful to analyze proposals and help build a solid business case on which to base project approvals.  These products focus primarily on justifying the project through the business benefits and/or savings derived from the implementation of the proposal’s business requirements.  They do not assess the risk of failing to meet a business stakeholder’s desired project schedule and budget in a proposal.  QSM’s integration to Rational Focal Point brings this powerful capability to market and helps identify high risk proposals before they enter an organization’s project stream.  This capability can significantly reduce schedule slippage and cost overruns that can reach tens of millions of dollars for many large Fortune 1000 organizations.

Read more about the SLIM-Estimate and Rational Focal Point integration here or you can read more about QSM's IBM Rational Solutions on our Partners Page.

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