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    Ian Alyss

    We will start a bespoke development of a new inventory and warehouse management system. We intend to track the progress of the project with a size measure (FP or similar). What is the best tool to use. Do we really need to spend more than € 10,000 on such a tool?


    Ian, I dont think you need an expensive tool. Just plot your planned effort per week in excel and plot the expected size that should be finished per week in Excel as well. Make sure that you model the size in the right way. A few pointers:
    – We are talking about project size (not product size). Changes during the project add to the project size and remodelling is necessary as the planned project size will increase;
    – Determine the moment that you wish a function to be reported ready (after programmer test? system test? integrated?);
    – Estimate the moment that the team will start delivering functionality. That is the start of the S-curve;
    – The functional size reported ready will follow an S-curve. Make sure you model the S-curve correctly.

    If your effort is above the plan and the size is below the line, you know you are in trouble.

    Of course, you can also apply Earned Value Management techniques for this: link.

    I did a presentation at the UKSMA conference a few years back, but that was focussed on the sizing method that is preferable in project control (Nesma/IFPUG or COSMIC). Check that presentation here: link

    Ian Alyss


    Thank you. That’s cool. Do you – or anyone on this forum – have a model spreadsheet to do this.
    The basics are relatively simple, but especially the remodelling of the S-curve is not that simple.

    Thanks, Ian.


    I don’t have these sheets myself unfortunately, but I guess you need to make some basic assumptions that could be (and should be) supported by historical data. If you are not able to make these assumtions,, probably you need to use a commercial parametric model anyway. You could check out Galorath SEER-SEM PPMC or QSM Control.

    Jacqueline Eshuis

    Hi Ian,

    I can understand that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a tool. I would expect your supplier to be using the tool and share the output with you. This is how I work in projects.
    The best projects/companies are those that will use tools for estimating, tracking and reporting, not only effort, milestones but also defects. This is something that you can read in the QSM Almanac. You can find it on the QSM website:

    There might be other information available from other tool vendors, I don’t have links/information to that.

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