Applications icon

Optimize the Application Maintenance Estimation (AME) Process

Augment your traditional expert estimation with parametric estimation to reduce surprises.

Get Instant Access to this Blueprint


This content is retired but we have related up-to-date content below.

View Storyboard

Solution Set Storyboard Thumbnail


  • Magne Jørgensen
  • Capers Jones
  • Oktay Turetken
  • Valerio Franceschin
  • Derya Toka
  • Saravanan Mylsamy

Your Challenge

  • Application Development Managers have to defend maintenance budgets to executives.
  • Often the estimates are based on a single method – expert estimation – instead of also including parametric estimation in the process.
  • The result is a variance in estimated and actual budgets caused by varying degrees of scope interpretation by experts who are called upon to estimate.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Having a single expert estimation technique is not enough. You need to include an analytical parametric technique to quickly surface assumptions and have that discussion early rather than having to defend a budget shortfall.

Impact and Result

  • Produce a charter that will help you sell an optimized application maintenance estimation process internally for the benefit of the business.

Research & Tools

1. Understand the project rationale

Assess organizational preparedness for AME process optimization.

2. Structure the AME optimization team

Set up a project team for optimizing the AME process and obtain approval to proceed.

3. Analyze the current AME process gaps

Identify the gaps that might prevent a successful implementation.

4. Optimize the AME process

Document the new optimized process and identify implementation costs.

5. Implement the AME process

Develop the rollout and communications plan, and prepare for hurdles.

6. Measure ongoing value

Track metrics and apply lessons learned to other projects.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Evaluate the team structure

You come with your draft project team structure, and we will help you review the structure and discuss governance so that you will have a refined project team structure in place.

Call #2 - Analyze the current AME process gaps

You come with your complete gap analysis, and we will help you identify additional alignment or process gaps for consideration so that you will have a complete gap assessment prior to optimization.

Call #3 - Optimize the AME process and get charter sign-off

You come with your optimized AME process, cost, traceability matrix, and project charter, and we will help you validate the business alignment and provide feedback on your charter so that you will have improved alignment with business needs and an improved charter.

Call #4 - Implement the optimized AME process

You come with your rollout plan and communications brief, and we will help you critically analyze for additional gaps you may wish to consider so that you will be better prepared for the rollout and any possible changes.

Onsite Workshop

Unlock This Blueprint

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Understand the Project Rationale

The Purpose

  • To understand why software maintenance estimation is important.
  • To determine whether you are ready to embark on an optimization initiative.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand the current estimation landscape.
  • Conduct a high-level initial gap analysis.




Assess your organization’s readiness

  • Readiness assessment

Module 2: Structure the AME Optimization Team

The Purpose

  • To determine the right stakeholders for process optimization.
  • To establish project governance.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify clear roles and responsibilities around the project.
  • Determine any resource gaps for project implementation.




Identify key project participants

  • RACI chart

Module 3: Analyze the Current AME Process Gaps

The Purpose

To strengthen your current estimation process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand various expert and parametric optimization techniques.
  • Determine the appropriate future state.
  • Analyze gaps between current and future state.




Draw your current AME flow

  • Current state flow diagram (SOP)

Identify business requirements

  • Business requirements document

Document future state process

  • Future state flow diagram (SOP)

Gap analysis and capability prioritization

  • Capability mapping

Module 4: Optimize the AME Process

The Purpose

Validate the optimized estimation model using historic data.

Key Benefits Achieved

Achieve greater confidence by examining variance and examining assumptions in expert estimation.




Validate your estimation model

  • Variance between historic estimation and optimized model

Module 5: Implement the AME Process

The Purpose

Conduct an estimation of current projects using optimized model.

Key Benefits Achieved

Both parametric and expert estimation are used for estimation from now on.




Conduct present estimation simulation

  • Estimation of current projects

Prepare for rollout

Module 6: Measure Ongoing Value

The Purpose

Ensure ongoing business value through better maintenance estimation.

Key Benefits Achieved

Align metrics with business needs.




Track metrics to determine value over time

  • Measurement to keep continual improvement in sight

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Search Code: 73874
Published: December 3, 2013
Last Revised: June 19, 2014