QSM Support Library

QSM Support Library

Instructions for using this directory of resources


Click any category to see descriptions and links to all resources in that category. Click any resource in the list to expand the item and show a description and link to the resource. Click again to hide the item. Can't find the information you need? Ask a QSM Support Representative!

Resource Categories


Get answers, how-to's, or submit a new question on our searchable FAQ's page.

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General Topics

View this Quick Reference Guide provides an overview of SLIM-Suite applications, including the purpose, file format, major tasks performed, and interfaces with other applications.

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General Topics

The following document describes how SLIM-Collaborate's application security infrastructure protects data in transit and at rest.

Please contact your QSM Account Representative or QSM Support for more information.

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Installation and Deployment

See the Support | Downloads page for the most recent information about SLIM-Suite versions and download links.  You must have a current SLIM-Suite license to download the executable.  Please see your QSM Account Reprentative for more information, or contact QSM Support.

The following references may be helpful in determining how best to install and deploy SLIM in your organization. 

Also consult our FAQ page Installation category to troubleshoot specific issues.

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Installation and Deployment

Don't forget to take advantage of our 2-Day Software Estimation and Control Course and 1-day Metrics and Benchmarking courses, offered at our McLean, VA headquarters! Most licenses include one or more training seats. For more information, contact Keith Ciocco.

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Training and Coaching

Can't attend the McLean class?  We offer live online training!  Contact Keith Ciocco for more information.

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Training and Coaching

Most SLIM-Estimate licenses include 3 free coaching sessions with QSM support representatives. Let us help you configure one or more estimation templates, construct a sizing model, and collect completed project data for use in calibrating SLIM-Estimate to reflect your lifecycle and past performance data. Interested? Contact your QSM Account Manager (see your license email) or contact our sales department.

View the SLIM Coaching Menu for options.

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Training and Coaching

Each of our 5 user guides begins with a comprehensive product tour that walks you through the major features in that product. Stepping through the guided tours is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with your SLIM-Suite applications!  User guides are available in PDF format in the Tools81 folder under the Documents folder.

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Training and Coaching

SLIM-Suite user guides in PDF format can be installed to your PC during setup. The online Help files contain the same content as the PDF user guides. Check the Documentation folder in your ToolsXX application directory (Ex: Documents\QSM\Tools90\Documentation) for complete and unabridged product and installation guides.

Create a short cut to all SLIM-Suite installed resources to make them easy to access.

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Training and Coaching

SLIM-Estimate provides a variety of methods for estimating projects and programs.  Your choice of solution option will be determined by the information you have available, and what elements are unknown.  The following references help you the select the appropriate option and provide detailed instructions.

The Validation Checklist provides provides a list of rigorous estimation process steps and associated data inputs.

The Estimate Guide Template is a SLIM-Estimate workbook containing instrutions and chart-specific notes to remind you key estimate inputs and analysis considerations.

 

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Estimation

SLIM-Estimate has several project environment settings that should be configured to match your development life cycle activities, application type, sizing technique, and others.  These resources will guide you through the process.  Remember that most SLIM-Suite license come with free, unlimited support.  Contact your Account Representative or QSM Support to set up a coaching session, where we'll guide you step-by-step to create a custom estimation template.

The Quick Reference Guide summarizes the fields most often tailored to customize SLIM-Estimate templates to model your project environment. It provides at-a-glance information on where to find each field, default values, and the benefits of customization.

Our Creating and Modifying Estimation Templates white paper presents the why and how for each project environment setting, where to find them in SLIM-Estimate.

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Estimation

SLIM-Estimate's macro estimation approach uses product size and productivity to estimate project time and effort tradeoffs.  Selecting the best sizing technique and units of measure can be challenging.  The following resources help you understand basic concepts and how to use the in SLIM-Estimate .

 

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Sizing

 

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Sizing

SLIM-Estimate's Sizing Calculator includes the ability to link MS Excel spreadsheets.  This is the most flexible method, allowing unlimited sizing units, gearing factors, and uncertainty ranges for both.  Spreadsheets can be distributed to subject matter experts who are not SLIM users, so they can contribute to sizing efforts.

Three sizing methodologies are available:

  • PERT Decomposition
  • Prioritized Features
  • Relative Percentage

These Excel files can be (optionally) installed along with SLIM-Estimate and are stored in the Templates folder in your SLIM-Suite QSM directory under My Documents. 

You may download the spreadsheets and other templates on the Downloads page.

 

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Sizing

The Code Counters page contains links to code counters for Java, VB, HTML, C++, Oracle PL/SQL, and many other programming languages.

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Sizing

The QSM Function Point Table provides SLOC/FP language gearing factors for a variety of programming languages.

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Sizing

 

How can I change the unit for Total system size in the Quick Estimate Wizard? Currently it is set to SLOC, but we use Function Points.  I have changed the Base Size Unit in the Global Options, but when I go into the Quick Estimate Wizard, the size estimate is still in SLOC.

What you need to change is not the Base Size Unit, but the Function Unit.  To change the Function Unit to Function Points, select Tools | Customize Project Environment from the menu. On the Project Description Tab, there is a Function Unit list box.  Select Function Points, then enter an appropriate gearing factor to represent the average number of Base Size Units contained in your selected  Function Unit (ex.: a gearing factor of 250 might represent 250 Base Size Units per Object).  

If you need help determining an appropriate gearing factor, visit the Function Point Gearing Factors pageon the QSM web site, download our gearing factors whitepaper, or contact QSM for assistance.

 

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SLIM-Estimate How To Sizing Tips & Tricks

 

What options are available for sizing projects in SLIM-Estimate?

The Size Calculator offers a variety of sizing techniques that may be used individually or in combination. One technique is GUI Sizing, which allows you to break the system down into individual components such as screens, reports, dialogs, or your custom components, each of which can have its own gearing factor (LOC/component). The individual component estimates are rolled up into a total size estimate, which will be posted back to the Assumptions screen.

Size Calculator

  • Sizing by History

Sizing by History is useful early in the software planning cycle when the requirements may still be vague and the design not clearly defined. The technique combines historical size data from the QSM database or your custom trends with your intuition and experience to produce a rough order-of-magnitude size estimate for the proposed system. You are strongly encouraged to review this preliminary size estimate as more information becomes available.

  • Total System Mapping

This technique breaks the entire system down into a single functional component of your choice (such as objects, subsystems, etc.) then provides a size estimate based on the expected number of components the system will contain.

  • Sizing by Decomposition

Whereas Total System Mapping sizes the system using a single overall sizing unitSizing by Decomposition breaks your system down into different groups of components. Each type of component uses its own mapping factor to convert the component estimate into your chosen function unit. The results for each component are then rolled up into a total expected system size. Although Sizing by Decomposition was originally developed for use with GUI languages, it is a very versatile technique that can be used anytime you want to size parts of the system using different sizing components.

  • Sizing by Module

This sizing technique decomposes the system into modules (or programs or subsystems). Estimates here should be made in the function unit specified on the Project Environment dialog. While the screen layout for this function is almost identical to that of Sizing by Decomposition, the two techniques are used for different purposes.

Sizing by Module breaks the system into single, like components of different sizes. Each single component has its own mapping factor that converts the total expected size back to your chosen function unit. Sizing by Decomposition, on the other hand, allows you to break down the system into several different groups of like components. Each group has the same mapping factor, which is used to convert each component to your selected function unit.

  • Function Point Sizing

Function Point Sizing is an alternative to estimating source lines of code. It attempts to measure the functionality the software will provide. The methodology is based on a weighted sum of the inputs, outputs, files, inquiries, and interfaces provided to or generated by the software.

  • Microsoft Excel Sizing by Spreadsheet

In addition to the five sizing techniques just described, you can design your own custom sizing techniques using Microsoft Excel. Several Excel sizing template files (.xlt or .xltx file extension) are installed to the \Tools80\Templates folder when SLIM-Estimate is installed. You can use one of the QSM templates or create your own sizing spreadsheets and import the results into SLIM-Estimate.

QSM's Software Size Matters Infographic also provides a great general resource for which sizing unit to use at each point in the software lifecycle.

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SLIM-Estimate Sizing

SLIM-Estimate provides defensible estimates by using completed project data as the basis of the estimation, from either your historical project database, or from QSM's industry database.  It is always best to used your organization's history, because it reflects your project environment and your capabilities.

Review Reconstructing Completed Projects for help in identifying sources of data from project artifacts, such as requirements documents, or conducting simple internal surveys. 

The QSM SLIM-DataManager Data Entry Form duplicates data entry fields in SLIM-DataManager.  Use it to gather data from non-SLIM users, or simply use the hover tips to display defintions of metrics.  Alternatively, use the SLIM-DataManager Smartsheets, available on the Utilities section of the Downloads page.

 

 

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Historical Data Collection

Don't forget to check out QSM's multi-author blog, Practical Software Measurement, for tool tips and tricks, estimation and benchmarking advice, research from the QSM database, and a variety of other topics of interest to software professionals.

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Research and Publications

See our Articles page to learn more about the SLIM methodology, process improvement, software trends, or the latest research from our database of 13,000 projects.

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Research and Publications

Check out the Books page for information on QSM's latest publication, Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management, as well as other books by Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers.

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Research and Publications

- MS Project integrations allows both import and export of project schedule details.

Our Best Practices white paper guides you through the process.

View our SLIM vs. MS Project Comparison tables to understand feature differences:

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Interfacing to Other Applications

The SLIM to RTC integration can be configured to retrieve information about defects and other metrics from a RTC repository and insert that information into the actual data of a SLIM-Control workbook.  For more information and access, see the Integrations section of the Downloads page.

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Interfacing to Other Applications

With a little programming effort, you can configure the SLIM-Suite APIs (Application Programmer's Interfaces) to create time-saving interfaces between SLIM-Suite tools and other time, effort, or defect reporting systems, databases, spreadsheets, and programs. Check out the API section of the QSM Downloads page, where you'll find documentation and working examples of the SLIM-Control, SLIM-Estimate, and SLIM-DataManager APIs! Requires a password to download - click here to request access. 

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Interfacing to Other Applications

View the Reports and Graphs Export Table to see the best way to get SLIM-Suite reports and graphs into other applications.