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Nov 11

New SLIM 7.0 Release, Now Shipping

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Nov 11

November 11, 2008

All of us at QSM are very excited about the new SLIM 7.0 Release which represents the latest state-of-the-art in software measurement and estimation. Personally, I feel that this is a major milestone in manifesting virtually all we know as a team in software measurement, management, and forecasting.

As many are well aware, what’s especially exciting to me is the blending of “QSM science” in the space of helping companies implement Agile methods, and the way SLIM portrays how agile software projects behave. I’ve had the pleasure of using the models at two of the highest performing companies implementing XP and SCRUM, namely Follett Software and BMC Software, and creating trends and analyses that have been the crux of recent keynote and main stage talks at conferences like Agile 2008, Better Software, and Agile Develelopment Practices (where I am today, teaching a full-day session on Agile Metrics 🙂

But as you can see in the press release below, quantifying ROI, predicting schedule outcomes, forecasting project scope within deadlines, creating reliable velocity trends and burndown charts for stories and bugs etc. isn’t just for the few; it’s available to anyone who wants to “just do it” themselves. Below are quotes from Kim Wheeler of Follett and how she’s used SLIM to achieve just about the highest level of productivity and quality that I’ve personally measured, something especially vital in these economic times. Across 6 projects, they’ve delivered software 50% faster than industry with twice the quality, while saving over $7.8 million! As a result, they are the dominant player in their marketplace, winning industry awards and increasing their market share and profitability. Bravo!

Guess what? We teach this stuff! I’d welcome you to any of my future conference tutorials or SLIM workshops in McLean VA. However, both our last class in October and our next class in December – have quickly sold out. (Don’t be dissuaded – come see us in January!) You can contact Sean Callaghan at sean.callaghan@qsma.com for more information about upcoming events.

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QSM Announces SLIM 7.0 Planning, Estimating Solution
For Complex Enterprise Software Development Scenarios

MCLEAN, VA — — QSM, Inc. announces a new version of the company’s flagship software lifecycle management solution, SLIM Suite 7.0, bringing a new level of sophistication to the planning and estimation strategies of software developers. QSM is a provider of software tools and consulting services that enable organizations to estimate, track, and benchmark their software development and maintenance projects.

Commercial and government enterprises worldwide use SLIM in three critical stages: to estimate the cost and schedule for new projects; to benchmark completed projects against others; and to measure and control “in-flight” projects to prevent overruns. Used for managing both internal and outsourced application development, SLIM is comprised of five elements, which can be used individually or in the integrated suite: SLIM-Control, SLIM-Estimate, SLIM-DataManager, SLIM-Metrics, and SLIM-MasterPlan.

“Until you measure and compare, you don’t know how good you really are,” said Kim Wheeler, Director of Development Projects, Follett Software Company, the leader in school book and library automation technology. In conjunction with QSM Associates, Follett uses SLIM tools to more effectively estimate and manage their Agile projects. “SLIM is well suited to the fast-paced, iterative world we live in. SLIM measurements have enabled us to identify that our in-house Agile development saved more than $7.8 million compared to industry experience. Instead of seeking cost savings offshore, we’re achieving these higher savings with our own team,” said Wheeler.

“SLIM has been an incredible motivator to our staff. After using SLIM on three XP projects, we have experienced continuous improvement; in fact, our most recent three projects have hit even higher levels of productivity. Such a return is unprecedented in our experience,” Wheeler said. Follett’s experience and expertise in library automation and materials serves as the launching pad for both information and resource management tools and solutions. Follett Software’s legacy of innovation includes multiple awards, and a leading role in the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) initiative.

The SLIM MasterPlan component of the SLIM 7.0 Suite has been greatly enhanced to accommodate the more complex development strategies that are common to today’s software environment. For example, the development landscape for today’s enterprises often includes multiple release, multiple partners, multiple product integrations, and iterative strategies like Agile and RUP.

The new version of SLIM also provides off-the-shelf templates that enable developers to build models of many complex programs. These templates, which are based on best practice profiles from thousands of QSM consulting engagements, include Agile, off-shore, multi-release, and multi-contractor, as well as package implementation templates for SAP, PeopleSoft, and Oracle.

The concepts of systems design, modeling and reuse are all essential to both productivity and quality in today’s enterprise. Taking these concepts to a higher level, SLIM’s Available Task Component Library easily add tasks outside of the typical software development modeling process, such as systems engineering, fixed cost, milestones, system-level integration and testing, long term sustainment, and program management.

A new Global what-if Scenario Generator allows for quick assessment of the impact to any individual component on the entire program. For example, users can change team sizes, productivity assumptions or functional content, and the scenario generator calculates the impact for each program component then applies the dependence rules and displays an alternative solution.

All SLIM Suite elements are compatible with Microsoft’s Access open architecture, and allow seamless interfaces to any ODBC-compliant tool. And, all can export to and import from the latest version of MS Project, including multi-level Work Breakdown Structure [WBS] files. An improved API also facilitates the importing of statistics and other information from leading independent tool suites, such as those provided by IBM/Rational and Telelogic.

Information from independent tools, in such areas as requirements definition, design, configuration management and defect tracking, is critical to the world-class project management delivered by this newest version of the SLIM Suite. With its strong integration capabilities, SLIM delivers unparalleled project planning and management.

Backward-compatible with previous versions, SLIM Suite 7.0 is available now from QSM, its U.S. affiliate QSM Associates, and the network of QSM offices worldwide. A single-user license for SLIM 7.0 starts at $12,500.


About QSM Associates

QSM Associates, Inc. helps organizations measure, plan, estimate and control software projects. It offers the SLIM (Software Lifecycle Management) Suite of tools, so managers can benchmark and forecast Agile, waterfall, in-house, and offshore/multi-shore software projects. SLIM contains statistics from a worldwide database of more than 7,500 completed projects, enabling productivity benchmarking on the desktop. Using SLIM to dynamically run ‘virtual project simulations,” companies routinely model and forecast waterfall and Agile releases to deliver on time, within budget with > 90% estimation accuracy. SLIM can also derive ROI achieved by Agile methods and other process improvements. QSM Associates offers consulting, training, and coaching to help accelerate this capability. QSM and SLIM are registered trademarks of Quantitative Software Management. Information is available at www.QSMA.com.

Contacts:
General contact: Edward Bride, 413-442-7718 [Ed@edbride-pr.com]

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