Optimize the Application Maintenance Estimation (AME) Process

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


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Lack of proper software maintenance estimation causes:

  • Technical debt with the business caused by lack of integrity in proposed maintenance budgets.
  • Impact to quality of deliverables as funding becomes unavailable.
  • Lack of confidence when using a single estimation method.

A well-defined software estimation process provides the ability to:

  • Forecast and optimize budgets across projects and resources.
  • Create a repeatable and measurable process for continual improvement.
  • Leverage different estimation techniques based on the type of project.

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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.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 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.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 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.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Draw your current AME flow
  • Current state flow diagram (SOP)
3.2 Identify business requirements
  • Business requirements document
3.3 Document future state process
  • Future state flow diagram (SOP)
3.4 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.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 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.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Conduct present estimation simulation
  • Estimation of current projects
5.2 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.

Activities: Outputs:
6.1 Track metrics to determine value over time
  • Measurement to keep continual improvement in sight
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