ChallengesHeuristic Solutions LLC, a software development company that specializes in custom applications, was recently presented with a new business opportunity. Based on intuitive expert judgment, they thought the budget would be around $600,000. This represented a very large opportunity so they wanted to be sure their judgment was correct. Up until then, their methodology for generating budget estimates relied on complicated spreadsheets that each member of the team would complete. For the new opportunity, they used SLIM for their estimate.
SolutionVaughan Moore, a Heuristics business analyst, decided to implement SLIM-Estimate for the new project. He attended SLIM training, where he saw real-life examples of how the tool was used, which he then applied to his own estimate. After sizing the project, he was surprised to see that SLIM-Estimate predicted the project would actually cost over $1 million, as opposed to the $600,000 they had initially budgeted. He wondered how his client would react to his findings.
OutcomesVaughan decided to use SLIM-Estimate during his final presentation to show the client how the budget was developed. By pulling up the industry productivity trend lines from the QSM database, as well as their own historical data, he showed them the Heuristics team was actually more productive than the industry average. This evidence gave the client confidence the budget was in-line with industry standards and allowed them to present to their board a budget with their own “management reserve”. As a result, the client awarded them the first phase of the project. Without SLIM, Heuristics would have under-bid the project and missed deadlines trying to complete a project with unrealistic constraints. With the larger budget, they were able to hire more people which will allow them to stay on schedule.