Get Estimation Results Faster with QSM's New SLIM Pilot QuickStart

Estimation can be time-consuming. Whether it's gathering initial requirements from stakeholders, performing risk trade-off analysis, or reworking estimates when plans change, these processes can take days or, worse, weeks that you simply don't have.

We hear that. And at QSM, our goal has always been to make the estimation process as quick and painless as possible. For almost 45 years, we've refined our tools to provide accurate project predictions with very few inputs required. Leveraging the power of industry data and proven mathematical models, you can generate defensible estimates within minutes and examine alternative scenarios without tedious rework. But as with any tool, there is a learning curve and we recognize how hard it is to find time in a busy schedule for training. We want to get you set up and reaping the benefits of our tools so you can get back to working with your team to ensure that your clients and stakeholders are happy with the overall product delivery. This is why we're introducing the SLIM Pilot QuickStart, a training and coaching program with flexible delivery designed to work with individual client schedules.

Software Estimation Training

We believe the best way to learn is to learn by doing. The SLIM Pilot QuickStart program is an online, instructor-led live session that focuses on applying QSM's SLIM estimation tools and best practices to your current measurement problems. This "learn as you go" approach allows you to improve your estimation process quickly to improve the bottom line. The program centers around a 2-hour intro session filled with a wealth of information including: 

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Training Estimation SLIM Suite SLIM-Estimate

An Important COVID-19 Update from QSM

Here at QSM, we realize COVID-19 has impacted your lives and businesses in many ways. One thing we don't want you to worry about is how to get the resources you need from us during this time of crisis. QSM is adhering to both CDC and state guidelines with all employees working remotely at this time. Whether it's customer support, online training, one-on-one remote coaching sessions, FAQs, white papers, or webinars, QSM is fully-equipped to support you. Below is a list of resources...

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Support Training QSM News

The “Secret Sauce” in SLIM-Estimate


For over 20 years I’ve been an advocate of using metrics for improving IT processes. Shortly into my career as a COBOL developer, I was introduced to Function Point Analysis; and ever since it’s been the most powerful tool in my toolkit. After all: size matters! Once I learned to quantify the amount of functionality delivered by a project or an application, I could zoom in on cost, effort, duration, productivity, and quality because I now had a normalization factor to perform comparisons (Cost per Function Point, Hours per Function Point, Defects per Function Point, etc.).

Shortly after getting my Certified Function Point Specialist certification, I became obsessed with the different measures and metrics pertaining to software and IT. Soon I became a Certified Software Measurement Specialist, where I learned everything there was to know about how to measure everything there was to measure in software (or so I thought). It’s a pretty powerful feeling being able to help organizations baseline their current capabilities so they could determine if implementing the latest and greatest silver bullet was really going to give them the gains in productivity they had been striving for. 

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SLIM-Estimate Training

Making the Case for Software Estimation

The challenges surrounding software estimation are both well known and well documented.  Most discussions on this topic center around the technical challenges estimators face: tight schedules, unclear scope, evolving requirements, and accounting for dependencies and risk.  But there's a more fundamental challenge we don't hear so much about – educating stakeholders and making the business case for structured, yet practical estimation, and why it is a critical success factor. 

Let's face it: process improvement is rarely cost-free.  Businesses expect a visible return on investments made in estimation tools and training.  The benefits of quality software estimation can be compelling, but moving decision makers from "open to the idea of estimation" to "willing to commit money and resources" can be difficult for busy analysts and managers juggling multiple roles and tasks.

In her latest video, QSM's Laura Zuber explains what makes a good software estimate and how empirically-based estimation helps projects:

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Estimation Training

ISMA 14 Workshop: Applying Function Point Rules to Emerging Technologies

Function Point Workshop

We are pleased to announce that QSM Lead Trainer and Senior Consultant Pam Simonovich will be presenting a workshop focused on applying function point rules to emerging technologies at the upcoming ISMA 14 on September 13. She will also be giving away VR Elegiant Virtual Reality Glasses to one lucky participant!

Today’s sizing expert must be able to accurately apply function point counting rules and SNAP counting rules to a variety of software environments and technologies. This hands-on interactive workshop will prepare you to apply counting rules to the ever-popular gaming Industry and promises to include such technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Cloud computing, etc. The contents of the course will be reinforced with examples and hands-on case studies.

The workshop schedule will be as follows:

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Function Points Training QSM News

QSM Function Point Workshop Is Now IFPUG-Certified

Function Point Workshop

QSM is pleased to announce our Function Point Workshop is now IFPUG-certified! This 2 day course focuses on building function point analysis skills to measure software development work products. Students will learn how to express the result in a standard, accurate, repeatable way based on the logical view of required functionality in the business and the end user's perspective. This standard technique promotes consistent sizing across multiple project types, and can be used to support project estimating, application maintenance, and portfolio analysis. Ultimately students will gain an initial understanding of the purpose, context, and rules for counting function points. This course is targeted to attendees with interest levels ranging from high level familiarity with the process to those who are beginning to prepare for certification. 

Learn more about about QSM's workshops and function point offerings.

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Function Points Training

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

New QSM Software Estimation Workshop Series

QSM is pleased to announce the launch of a new workshop series focused on addressing the challenges organizations encounter when implementing software estimation processes. The series offers eight customizable workshops that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual company and its business goals.

Workshops include product training for users of QSM's SLIM Suite, as well as estimation fundamentals that are tool agnostic:

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Estimation Training

Earn PDUs for QSM SLIM Training!

QSM is pleased to announce that we are now an approved PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), making it easier than ever for SLIM Training attendees to earn PDUs! R.E.P.s are organizations that have been approved by PMI to help project managers achieve and maintain the Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Program Management Professional (PgMP)® and other PMI professional credentials.

QSM's SLIM Training Course teaches attendees how to accurately estimate project size (scope) and calculate productivity to project risk-buffered effort-time trade-offs. Additionally, attendees learn how to leverage the SLIM tools for tracking, variance, analysis, forecasting, and benchmarking to manage risk as a project unfolds, as well as analyze key project metrics to meet project business goals and plan continuous software process improvement efforts.

The full SLIM training course is 19 PDUs. Students taking the full course can claim 6 PDUs for PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® and 4 PDUs for PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)SM.

Read the full press release.

PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, and PgMP are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc.

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Introducing the SLIM-Estimate Certification Program

QSM is pleased to announce the SLIM-Estimate® Certification Program.  Specifically designed to help our customers ensure the technical excellence of their SLIM users, this program increases the business value of our software project estimation tools to your organization. 

How Certification Is Achieved:

In order to be awarded certification, a user must demonstrate competence in the following areas:

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Estimation SLIM-Estimate Training