Challenges

It is no simple challenge to manage software delivery costs and maximize return on investments in today’s fast changing and fiercely competitive business environment. Sizing and Estimation activities impact throughout the organization and encompass an array of factors that often aren’t visible at the first glance:

  • Padding budgets in anticipation of underestimations
  • Underestimating future costs of maintenance
  • Non inclusion of support costs and business costs
  • Non quantification of IT value and benefits for an IT business function
  • Project Management challenges due to ill defined estimates
  • Need to measure productivity

”Costs of IT initiatives will typically exceed original estimates by an average of 100 percent”. Standish report survey concludes:

  • 52.7 % of projects are challenged, meaning they are completed but incurred cost and schedule overruns resulting in fewer features than originally specified
  • 31.1 % of the projects canceled during the development cycle
  • The average schedule overruns for challenged and canceled projects was 222 % of the original time estimates

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The IT Service vs. Estimation Methods Eco System

Even as the software project execution team readies itself to apply any known or home grown estimation method in a given situation, there is always a dilemma that they face; “Which one is the right Estimation method applicable”? In a typical software services provider organization, it is quite common that the organization supports and delivers a fairly vide variety of services to their clients including:

  • Application Development
  • Production Support & Maintenance Services
  • Product Implementation & Support Services
  • Testing/Validation Services
  • Infrastructure Management Services
  • System Integration Services
  • Engineering Services (IT based) etc……

Each project variety involves unique delivery processes. As such, Sizing each project variety also requires customized measurement methods.

How QAI can Help

QAI believes in providing a total estimation solution to its clients. It would normally not suffice if the project managers are simply “trained” on estimation methods. The End-to-End Estimation Excellence solution offering provides a holistic solution to all the estimation related needs from concept to commissioning, from incubation to realization.

end-to-end-estimation (1)

Key initiatives that QAI provides are:

  • Hand holding IT managers during trial estimation exercises
  • Helping the IT Unit to identify and deploy select estimation methods successfully across the client organization
  • Organize Estimation method training across the organization
  • Periodic review and provide valuable suggestions in refining estimation process implementation
  • Help establish Estimation baseline metrics to begin with
  • Help develop customized estimation methods for project execution areas that are not supported by popular estimation methods
  • Provide off-line support in resolving estimation related issues/concerns. And finally, once the client organization has fully deployed the estimation processes, help the IT Unit to setup its own “Estimation Centre of Excellence” through which the client could be self sufficient in continuously refining estimation processes as well as taking up any futuristic challenges in the estimation front.

A Sizing & Estimation initiative provides a holistic view of project and portfolio sizes and associated costs across business boundaries. Enterprises that implement Sizing and Estimation initiatives will see over time:

  • Reduced cost
  • Increased predictability and credibility thereby increasing customer satisfaction
  • A sound basis for defining an effective metrics framework
  • An effective framework for contract negotiation both with clients and vendors
  • Better vendor management
  • Outsourced Projects $ savings significant reduction in fixed bid  values due to fact based negotiations arising from consistent sizing methods
  • Reduced risks of increased development costs, late delivery, and missed features and functionality