The QSM database is the cornerstone
of our business. We use validated metrics collected from more than 10,000 completed software projects to keep our products current
with the latest tools and methods, to support our benchmarking
services, to keep our customers informed as they move into new
areas, and to develop better predictive algorithms.
QSM began building its database in
1978. Since that time, we have collected project data continuously,
updating the database every 12 to 18 months. We have added 200-400
validated projects each year during the last 5 years.
Our primary source of data is our clients,
some of whom allow us to include their project data in the database.
We also collect data by permission through our ongoing consulting
work in the areas of productivity assessments, estimates, and
This chart shows Construction &
Test effort for completed IT, Engineering, and Real Time systems
as System Size increases. QSM stratifies project data into homogenous
subsets to reduce variation and study the behavioral characteristics
of different software application domains.
Over the past 25 years, QSM has analyzed
software developments from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia,
and Africa. The projects span all size regimes, application types,
and development methodologies. Incoming project data is examined
for accuracy and completeness before it is included in the database.
After inspection and validation, approximately 7,000 projects
have been integrated into the QSM database.
Because we treat all contributed data
as confidential, we do not sell or release project data directly
to our customers. Instead, we use industry trend lines for comparison
and analysis. Due to the enormous variability in schedule, effort,
and defects at any given size, project data is separated into
nine application categories:
• Systems Software
• Process Control
• Real-time Embedded
Stratifying the data by application type reduces
the variability at each size range and allows for more accurate
curve fitting. One application type, the Business IT projects,
has been further stratified into several sub-groupings:
| • Telecom
QSMA clients have several methods
of access to the QSM database:
- Current industry productivity trend lines on the desktop
for each of the nine application types are included with QSM tools.
Only the most recent 2-3 years of industry data is used to calculate
current trend lines.
- Basic queries on the QSMA database are included with
your license. Let us do the research to answer your estimating
and benchmarking questions. We can provide graphs and summaries
that allow you to compare your projects against both industry
trend lines and actual projects that are similar in size, application
type, and complexity. Note: more extensive query analysis is
available through our Basic Measurement Service.
- Our Basic Measurement Service can help you assess your
current position against your competitors by cost, cycle time,
and quality. Based on your present productivity and quality, we
can help you set realistic goals for process improvement.
Research papers and articles from our database analysis are
available for download in the Resources