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Showing posts from October, 2010

A Metric System for Measuring the Degree of Success of Managed Service Requests

Indicators are useful for measuring activity efficiency and progress toward pre-designated goals. Before implementing a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) system, an organization must have clear its mission, stakeholders and objectives. This is important because KPI are quantifiable measurements and have to be agreed beforehand in order to reflect critical success factors.
KPI can vary from organization to organization, the important thing is that they must reflect the organization's objectives and must be key to its success. Key Performance Indicators may change over time as the organization's objective change.
(For illustration purposes, a simple generic case will be taken into consideration. This case can be further analyzed for specialization purposes. In practice the following could represent a managed service request in a Call Center context.)

The objective is to control those processes that determine (from the point of view of the organization) performance efficiency and e…

Sizing Applications from User Perspective

Applications are software programs designed to perform functions for users or for other applications. Some examples of application include ATM programs for managing cash dispensing machines, word processors, database programs, web browsers, development tools, CAD/CAM programs for design work, and communication programs.
Application programs use the services of the computer's operating system and other supporting programs to perform a designated function, and programs communicate with other programs through the application program interface.
The idea here is not to illustrate how to build an application but how to make a high level estimation of its size from a user’s perspective. After having analyzed its size it’s possible to estimate the cost required to build it. 
Applications can be big and complex or small and simple. People use web applications to order products online, make reservations for hotels, apply for jobs and so on, also, use mobile applications when on the move or tra…

Forecasting Project Costs using Variance Analysis

One way to report on cost control and forecasting during project execution is to use the Variance Analysis method, that is, explaining the difference (or variance) between actual costs and the budgeted costs with numbers and make new estimates for completing the work. Please consult this link Earned Value Management for related literature and references.
For the purpose of making these calculations, I will use an hypothetical project example (but it could also be a task or phase). "A company has contracted a service provider to deliver a project in 10 working days (80 hours) for the estimated cost of $10,000 and a work effort of 200 hours. The contract is Time and Material, this means that the company pays the provider for the number of hours actually required to perform the service. So, the provider has no incentive to minimize the number of hours expended on the service. The less efficient the provider is, the more money it makes!"
Summary of Time and Material Contract (re…