QSM Software Estimation Consulting

QSM helps guide your organization on the path to quantitative project intelligence.

We'll show you a better way.

Late to market, over budget, poor quality, no credibility with the business stakeholders – Unfortunately this is the sad reality of many government and commercial IT software portfolios today. QSM consulting provides quantitative business analytics for entire software portfolios, transformational programs and strategic projects which enable executives to make better and more informed business decisions, save millions of dollars and reduce resource waste. We have solutions for the portfolio level, program/project level as well as workshops for building analytical skills at the individual level.

Our enterprise portfolio solutions are designed to provide complete solutions for portfolio decision making at the executive management level.

  • Annual IT Budgeting - Identify high risk projects and generate alternative scenarios to explore the impacts of budget cuts and increases. Get a portfolio risk assessment as well as overall budget, cash flow, and staffing and skill forecasts to support IT development.
  • Procurement and Vendor Management - Get the best value out of your IT application suppliers by leveraging proven quantitative methods to support RFP, bidder evaluation and selection, and contract monitoring.
  • Estimation Center of Excellence - Establish the infrastructure, process, and skills to build a world class predictive analytics capability that integrates software scheduling, budgeting, resource planning and risk management across the organization to support improved executive decision making.
  • IT Demand Management vs. Capacity Planning - Balance your organization's current IT demand to match the existing IT capacity and quickly explore portfolio alternatives.
  • Transformational Program Assessment - Examine the potential outcome of a transformative program with an independent assessment, estimates and alteratives analysis as well as ongoing healthy checks to assist in critical mid-course decisions.

Our program and project level solutions are designed to help executives, directors and project managers get answers and alternative scenarios about specific projects. Put yourself in a better position to negotiate a successful project outcome where business stakeholders and IT stakeholders can all be winners.

  • Independent Estimate - Get an independent view of scope, schedule, cost, reliability and technical risk to improve negotiation and make more informed business decisions.
  • Runaway System Assessment - Apply quantitative objective measures of scope, milestones, spending and reliability to forecast delivery dates and actual costs.
  • New Contract Bid Support - We’ll find and present practical alternatives that can scientifically position you to win more business—and our estimates of skills, categories, and rates can go straight into your pricing systems.
  • Function Point/Scope Sizing – Our experts size your applications using a number of industry recognized sizing methods including ISO standard Function Point analysis to help provide clarity and transparency. The size estimates can further be used as an input for schedule and cost analysis.
  • Productivity Baseline and Benchmarking – Measure the productivity impact of moving to a new tool or method. See how you compare to organizations building similar application by leveraging QSM's 10,000 project database to benchmark your performance.
  • SLIM Tool Configuration, Mentoring & Deployment – Improve SLIM tool adoption and roll out by leveraging our templates, advice, training, awareness sessions, and articles.
  • SLIM API & Interface Development - Take advantage of the SLIM data in other enterprise applications using our developers' solutions.
  • Expert Witness Support – We leverage our database of 10,000 completed projects to provide historical perspective and our expert consultants can model realistic scenarios at the project, program and portfolio level.

The goal of our skills building solutions is to educate decision makers and develop the skills of internal consultants to make them more effective problem solvers. QSM appreciates the challenges of implementing improved predictive analytic processes in any organization. Our workshops combine training with “roll up your sleeves” process and technique customizations that fit your environment and business needs. Upon completion, workshop participants will have tangible tools for producing defensible estimates and project plans.

Software Product Size Estimation

Take Away - Ability to estimate software product size at various stages in the software development lifecycle.

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Objective - Apply practical software size estimation methods which can be used to quantify the product scope, a key estimate driver. Participants will learn how to use the most popular software sizing methods to fit a variety of application types, development methodologies, and levels of detail available at the time of estimation.Read Less

Function Point counting

Take Away - Ability to count function points, along with counting exercises to build proficiency and begin preparing for certification.

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Objective - Understand and perform function point counts using the IFPUG standard methodology. This IFPUG-approved 2-day course focuses on building skills to measure software development work-products and then expressing the result in terms of functionality as seen by the business and end user’s perspective. This standard sizing technique promotes consistent estimates across multiple project types.Read Less

Historical Data Collection

Take Away - Defined historical data elements, along with collection and validation processes to support SLIM estimates. Custom performance trends imported into SLIM-Estimate templates.

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Objective - Identify completed project core metrics and their sources to serve as basis of estimation. Identify optional custom metrics. Collect and validate a sample of project data, and create a set of performance trend lines to support estimate validation. Design data collection maintenance, and validation processes to growth the historical database as future projects are completed.Read Less

Software Lifecycle Customization

Take Away - One or more configured SLIM templates, plus defined process for configuring templates for new project types.

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Objective - Customize SLIM lifecycle and project definition parameters to model participants’ development methods and environments. The workshop focuses on configuring SLIM phases, milestones, schedule activities, staffing profiles, and trend selection. Match sizing techniques to development methodologies.Read Less

Resource Demand Estimation

Take Away - Multiple skill category definitions and allocation schemas with in SLIM templates to support a variety of project types.

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Objective - Provide a realistic demand estimate for resources and costs when different skill sets phase on and off the project. Define skill categories with specific labor rates in SLIM-Estimate templates to determine FTEs, effort, and cost by month by skill. Set the stage to feed an enterprise resource management/PPM system using the SLIM PPM framework.Read Less

Software Defect Estimation and Reliability Modelling

Take Away - Understand fundamental relationships between effort, size and defects. Leverage defect history to tune SLIM’s defect prediction model, define processes for improving product quality.

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Objective - Understand SLIM’s reliability and defect prediction model, and calibrate it to the participants’ methodology. Map defect nomenclature and operational environment parameters to the SLIM model. Collect historical data to tune the defect forecasting model.Read Less

Emerging Technologies

Take Away - Estimating approaches for each for a new technology/project solution that can be tailored to any estimation tool/process. (Note: Customized courses may be tailored to introduce and/or utilize SLIM as the baseline estimation tool. Such course will provide one or more SLIM templates as take-ways to apply to each approach.)

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Objective - Apply QSM estimating approaches to emerging technologies and diverse project solutions such as agile, COTS/GOTS implementation, service oriented architecture (SOA), major code-refactoring, defect management and sustainment considerations. For each emerging technology/method, understand what is truly unique vs. simply differences in terminology and how those changes translate to an effective estimation approach.Read Less

Politically driven deadlines. Budget uncertainty. Unrealistic bids from vendors who can’t perform. Nunn-McCurdy breaches, GAO audits and IG inspections. Emerging technologies. We understand the pressures you face as a Government executive and we have proven solutions that work.

  • Defense/Intelligence - Harnessing quantitative tools, metrics, and guidance is proven to help defense and intelligence decision-makers find success with cost, schedule, and performance goals.
  • Federal Civilian - Our quantitative, metrics-based approach can help you set realistic expectations, win negotiations with vendors, get troubled projects back on track and oversee your project portfolio from a position of strength and knowledge.
  • State & Local Government - Maximize the results of state and local projects with our proven solutions.

QSM Database

The QSM database is the cornerstone of our business.

We use validated metrics collected from over 10,000 completed software projects to keep our products current with the latest tools and methods, to support our benchmarking business, to inform our customers as they move into new areas, and to develop better predictive algorithms.


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QSM Database

Return on Investment

Learn More About QSM Consulting

We offer a variety of industrial-strength solutions to meet all needs and budget requirements, including complete solutions, "lite" versions, and incremental build-outs.

We typically recommend a staged implementation, as it enables a client to realize significant value while getting to know our process. We also suggest working with us on a single project, to start. You’ll get a good feel for QSM consulting, its benefits, and its suitability for your organization.

Please contact our solution design consultants at 800 424-6755 to discuss your individual needs and constraints. We’ll draft a statement of work, and then work with your procurement team to get a master service agreement in place. Once a purchase order has been issued, we’ll start to execute the project.

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