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!
This Quick Reference Guide provides a description of SLIM-Suite applications, including the purpose, file format, major tasks performed, and interfaces with other applications.
The SLIM-Suite Overview video can be found on the Support Video Tutorials page. You can download a PDF version here.
Get answers, how-to's, or submit a new question on our searchable FAQ's page.
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.
Yes. The Security Infrastructure for SLIM-Suite@ Windows Desktop Applications and SLIM-Collaborate@ can be downloaded via this link.
See the Support | Installation and Upgrades page for the most recent information about SLIM-Suite versions, installation instructions and video, and download links. You must have a QSM SLIM-Suite license to download and install the software. Your SLIM-Suite license email contains access credentials and installation instructions.
Also consult the Installation FAQs page.
Please see your QSM Account Reprentative for more information, or contact QSM Support.
Beginning with SLIM-Suite version 10.3, user guides in PDF format are no longer installed to your PC during setup. The most recent user guide version is 10.0.
The online Help (Help | Help Topics on the main menu) and new NetHelp (accessed from your browser) contain the same content as the PDF user guides in a content list, index and searchable format. Links to NetHelp can be found on the Questions and Technical Support page in the online Help.
The online help for each SLIM-Suite application 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!
Guided Tour videos are available on the Support Video Tutorials page.
Your SLIM-Estimate license includes free coaching and support sessions with QSM support representatives. We recommend 3 to 5 coaching sessions following training. 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.
Watch our SLIM Coaching - What to Expect video to learn more.
New! SLIM-Suite Pilot Quickstart coaching to get start using SLIM right away.
Contact your QSM Account Manager or contact QSM Support.
QSM offers online, instructor lead and self-paced training classes. Most licenses include one or more training seats. For more information visit the Training Overview page, or contact Keith Ciocco.
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 Configuring SLIM-Estimate Templates tutorial video and downloadable PDF guide presents the purpose of major configuration settings and where to find them in SLIM-Estimate, along with how-to helpful hints.
SLIM-Estimate provides a variety of methods for estimating software projects and programs so you can explore a range of potential outcomes and assess the relative risks. Your choice of solution option will be determined by the purpose of the estimate, such as an early feasbility assessment, plus the information you have available. The following references help you define a repeatable estimation process.
- SLIM-Estimate Solution Methods - describes the purpose for each method and associated inputs and outputs
- SLIM-Estimate Validation Checklist - estimation process step checklist
- Creating Defensible Estimate Solutions - high-level process description
The Estimate Guide Template is a SLIM-Estimate workbook containing instrutions and chart-specific notes to remind you of key estimate calculation and analysis considerations.
- Estimate Guide Template - Agile
- Estimate Guide Template - Waterfall
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. A common and flexible technique is Sizing by Decomposition, which allows you to break the system down into individual components such as epics, stories, features, RICEF objects, or your custom components, each of which can have its own gearing factor (IU/component). The individual component estimates are rolled up into a total size estimate, which will be posted back to the Solution Assumptions screen.
Instructions for using the Sizing Calculator and descriptions of each sizing method are available in SLIM-Estimate NetHelp.
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.
Please contact QSM Support for help creating your size estimates.
How can I change the unit for Total system size in the Balanced Risk and other solution wizards? Currently it is set to IU, but we use Function Points.
Solution wizards that require a size estimate assumption use the Sizing By History technique to obtain an initial "ballpark" estimate based on the statistical size ranges, or t-shirt sizes, in your project's associated trend group(s). This technique uses the Function Unit and Gearing Factor in the Project Environment settings. Most of the templates installed with SLIM-Suite have the Function Unit set to the Base Size Unit, either IU or SLOC.
To change the Function Unit to Stories, Features, Function Points, or other size unit, select Tools | Customize Project Environment from the menu. On the Project Description Tab, there is a Function Unit list box. Select Function Points or other unit, then enter an appropriate Gearing Factor to represent the average number of Base Size Units (elementary programming steps) contained in your selected Function Unit (ex.: a gearing factor of 50 represents 50 Base Size Units per Function Point).
If you need help determining an appropriate gearing factor, visit the Function Point Gearing Factors page on the QSM web site, download our Gearing Factors whitepaper, or contact QSM for assistance.
Three MS Excel sizing spreadsheets are installed with SLIM-Suite that can be used standalone or linked to SLIM-Estimate workbooks via the Sizing Calculator. 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 spreadsheets are stored in the C:\user\Documents\QSM\Toolsxxx\Templates folder, where 'xxx' is your SLIM-Suite version number, e.g., 103.
You may download the spreadsheets and other templates on the Downloads page.
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 .
- SLIM-Estimate Sizing Techniques Quick Reference
- Constructing Sizing Methods
- A Method for Improving Developers’ Size Estimates
- Gearing Factors: A Flexible Sizing Technique
The Code Counters page contains links to code counters for Java, VB, HTML, C++, Oracle PL/SQL, and many other programming languages.
The QSM Function Point Table provides SLOC/FP language gearing factors for a variety of programming languages.
Collecting completed project data is a SLIM best practice because it provides three important benefits:
- Base new project estimates on known capabilities and validate estimate assumptions (size, productivity, effort/cost/staff)
- Calibrate SLIM production model to reflect your project environment and development methods
- Benchmark performance against industry and create custom trends with SLIM-Metrics
SLIM-DataManager is QSM's historical project data repository, used to manage the QSM industry database. It is typically included with your SLIM-Suite license. The Training Registration page provides information about our self-paced training module that you can register to take immediately. The SLIM-DataManager Guided Tour and SLIM-Suite Overview videos highlight key product features and use cases, available on the Support Video Tutorials page.
Watch our Capture and Enter Historical Data video to get started.
Review Reconstructing Completed Projects for help in identifying sources of data from project artifacts, such as requirements documents, or conducting simple internal surveys.
Two SLIM-DataManager SmartSheets provide a spreadsheet-style interface for interfacing with SLIM-DataManager using the DataManager API - Data Extraction SmartSheet and Data Importer SmarSheet. These are available for download from the Utilities section of the Downloads page.
Contact QSM Support for help with completed project data collection and analysis.
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.
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.
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.
Reliable resource demand and capacity plans created in SLIM-Estimate can be shared with CA Clarity and MS Excel. SLIM-Estimate's Skills Breakout feature lets you allocate project effort to team roles like Business Analyst or Developer at different points in the project timeline. Each Skill Category is assigned a labor rate so labor costs reflect resource utilization needs. View the overview to learn more, or contact your QSM Account Representative.
- 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:
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.
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.
View the Reports and Graphs Export Table to see the best way to get SLIM-Suite reports and graphs into other applications.