When millions of project dollars are at stake, estimating requires the focused efforts of its end users (stakeholders) and a great many subject matter experts (SMEs).
This paper will explore the collaborative process as it unfolded for two Regence analysts who were tasked with building a model that estimates the date of completion for the testing cycle, which included improving the software to release quality. Neither analyst had a clear view of the path forward, but through collaboration began to define the problem, identify the limitations (of both the techniques employed and the data available), and to construct a defendable model that the senior leadership team could confidently present to its board of directors. The paper chronicles many of the problems encountered, and limitations of implementing ideal solutions along with the authors experienced-based recommendations for readers facing similar challenges in their own profession.
Much has been written on the subject of software development and testing by noteworthy authors; it is not the intent of this paperâ€™s authors to expound or refute the validity of their work. Rather, the intent is to enable the reader to identify the necessary stakeholders, explain the limitations inherent in all models and initiate a collaborative effort toward building an estimating model that works for their organization (within known constraints).
Scott D. Martin currently works at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon as a Performance Analyst for the Regence Information Technology Services division. Scott has over 16 years of multi-level collaborative experience across a broad range of industries and employers which includes two Fortune 100 companies (Raytheon and Hewlett Packard), and two large international companies (Japanese-based Kyocera and German-based Infineon Technologies). He has won repeated recognition for his work constructing a variety of forecasting and trending models, mapping process workflows and quantifying product contribution margins, improving supplier quality and enhancing corporate workforce performance through orchestrating broad behavior-based performance reforms. Scott earned an MBA from Portland State University, a BS in Business from the University of Oregon and a BA in Management from George Fox University.
James R. Eisenhauer is currently at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Software Process and Quality Analyst. Prior to Regence, James was a Sr. Software Architect at Lockheed Martin Information Technology, and was the driving force behind a progressive software solution approach to IT Service Delivery and Governance. During his tenure at Lockheed Martin, James was the lead consultant on many application architecture and software process engagements with major clients that included; Nike Inc, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Symetra Financial, Department of Homeland Security, and the United Negro College Fund. He holds a Masterâ€™s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tampa, Six Sigma Green Belt, ITIL Certification, ISO Auditor and a certificate of Software Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute School of Science and Engineering.
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