U.S. Federal Government Agency saves $30M on runaway project.
ChallengesLacking parametric estimation tools and benchmarking data, a U.S. federal government agency with nearly 50,000 employees and a budget of over $25 million did not have the confidence to challenge contractor cost and schedule estimates for software development projects. The client was also unsure of the appropriate staffing levels for sustainment and enhancements to production applications. Many projects were late or over budget. They had little or no capability to identify troubled projects until it was too late to take corrective action.
SolutionThe government client hired QSM to implement a Software Metrics Program within the client’s systems and technology group, using Function Point Analysis and the SLIM parametric tool. The work involved capturing historical data and analysis on past projects; acquisitions support for future projects (both pre and post RFP) and independent estimates; tracking and controlling of ongoing projects; and special ongoing parametric analysis to examine project team size, portfolio budgeting, trend-lining, vendor productivity, release strategy, team optimization and other ad hoc requests.
OutcomesUsing SLIM-Control to demonstrate that a high visibility project was falling further and further off course, QSM provided the client quantitative evidence needed to terminate the contract, saving $30M. After benchmarking a part of the portfolio with SLIM, QSM demonstrated that a 50% reduction in staff/cost would result in very little schedule penalty: staff reduced from 100 to 52, annual cost reduced from $27M to $15M. The client has now institutionalized the use of quantitative methods for acquisition and management of software, achieving over $25M in additional savings thus far. The client has been a QSM customer since 2010.