PLAN, ANALYZE, BUDGET AND MANAGE IT PROJECTS
SEER for IT (SEER-IT) for estimating IT projects and ongoing services is the latest in a family of software estimation models developed by Galorath Incorporated. Designed for senior IT professionals, SEER-IT project estimation enables CIOs to significantly improve their success rates on complex IT projects based on the science of parametric modeling.
IT Project Estimating Software - Supports planning efforts throughout the project development lifecycle from concept through analysis, design, procurement, construction, test, training and distribution.
IT Project Planning Software - Provides detailed insight into the risks, uncertainty and cost drivers associated with IT project development and ongoing services.
IT Services Estimating Software – Provides resource and cost estimates for ongoing support services required by an IT system. Ongoing support estimates all labor associated with running an IT system including service desk (tier 1 support), system administration, technology refresh and updates, system monitoring, elevated problem management (tier 2 support) and backup & recovery activities. SEER-IT can be used to project the incremental resources needed by a new system, or total resources required for a data center or managed services contract.
Current expectations for IT extend well beyond simply managing routers, disks, and servers. Today's IT organizations are expected to optimize and orchestrate complex IT disciplines into a well behaved business-delivery machine, reconfiguring IT systems, as needed and on-the-fly to address specific corporate and line-of-business objectives.
Spurred by new compliance regulations, the rise of outsourcing options, flattened budgets, and calls by senior management to "run IT more like a business," CIOs are under increasing pressure to impose more formal processes on IT project activities. And yet, while a number of tools and standards have emerged to manage IT infrastructure and processes, the very act of implementing efficiency measures often proves problematic. Recent studies have determined that over 50% of IT projects significantly overrun budgets and schedules or are completely abandoned before they are fully deployed.
CIO's who implement standardized and repeatable planning processes and best-in-class project solutions can reduce the variance between estimates and actual performance by 50% within two years.
Parametric/predictive modeling was developed to accurately assess what is known about a project and to model or simulate what is unknown, based on meaningful comparative data. SEER parametric modeling solutions improve success rates on IT projects. Based on sophisticated modeling technology, SEER for IT helps organizations objectively assess up-front project feasibility, optimize project costs and schedules, assess risks and probabilities, monitor project progress, and develop detailed project plans.
All SEER solutions are built on the same design principles, incorporating the following application elements:
An intuitive interface for defining and describing projects. Users can generate a new project from an existing project "template" or by adding and defining individual work elements. A series of pop-up windows and annotations guide users through the process of defining project scope, complexity, and technologies.
Sophisticated sector-specific mathematical models derived from extensive project histories, behavioral models, and metrics, provide a consistent framework for IT project estimation of the costs, effort and resources required for IT projects. SEER-IT is a blend of parametrics and non-parametric based estimates, allowing for quantity/rate driven estimates.
SEER Knowledge Bases provide default project definitions, values, ranges, and calibrations based on comparable project histories. Knowledge Bases enable users to develop first-look IT project estimates when very little information is known, and to refine those estimates as details become available.
Using and Documenting Results
A variety of charts, graphs, and reports are available for quickly summarizing and presenting project outcomes and alternatives as well as work-in-progress.
Open architecture and APIs ensure that SEER applications can be easily integrated with departmental productivity solutions and enterprise applications.
DEVELOPING A SEER FOR IT PROJECT ESTIMATE
SEER for IT has a collection of estimation elements, or process models, which can be used to build a work breakdown structure. Each element has a set of inputs, calculations, rates and factors (used to compute costs) and a set of outputs. Elements/process models provide logical groupings for IT activities and can be used to fully define a project.
Rollup: A summary element representing the sum of the elements beneath it.
Purchased Hardware: Estimate procurement and support costs for purchased or leased hardware items.
Purchased Software: Used for bringing in procurement and support costs for purchased or leased software items.
Application Development: Development effort can be entered as a summary number of hours, hours by phase, or hours by labor category. Software development inputs can be derived from SEER for Software.
Software/Database Services: Effort associated with deploying and supporting enterprise applications and databases, as well as middleware and software services.
End-User Services: Estimate the effort associated with setup, deployment and support of end-user systems such as PCs, notebooks, and mobile devices.
Infrastructure Services: Effort for setup, deployment, test, checkout, and ongoing support of infrastructure IT systems such as servers, storage systems and networks.
Facilities: The cost of installing and maintaining network cables and facility build-out, including utilities, telecom services, and supplies.
Training: Used to estimate the effort for developing or purchasing training programs and courseware as well as the delivery of training.
Service Desk: The operation of a service desk function including end-user system and application support.
User Documentation: The effort to develop and publish user documentation for IT applications and IT systems.
Additional Items: This element is used to capture any additional costs or effort not covered by other SEER for IT elements that may be specific to your environment.
Using and Documenting Results
A variety of charts, graphs, and reports are available for quickly summarizing and communicating project outcomes, alternatives, and work-in-progress. Results can be documented using SEER's rich reporting capabilities, saved to a variety of other formats including Excel, RTF, text, and PDF, or can be exported to 3rd-party applications such as Microsoft Project.
Quick Estimate: Provides a quick summary of the overall estimate. Set a baseline estimate to perform extensive what-if analyses.
Phased Activity: Shows schedule months, labor hours, labor cost and material cost for all phases including ongoing support.
Labor Detail: The labor detail shows hours and costs for each of the labor categories included in your estimate.
Economic Factors: Specify what percentage is done in-house to determine total labor for both in-house and contracted efforts.
Project Risk Analysis: Cost and hours as a function of the probability of completion within budget, broken out into labor hours, labor cost, material cost and total cost. Users may also have the system perform a Monte Carlo simulation to compute risk at all project levels.
Cost by Fiscal Year: Allocates in-house, contractor, material and total costs into fiscal years. View costs by fiscal year as well as month-to-month.
Monthly Details: Cost or labor hours grouped by labor category, phase or in-house vs. contractor, reported in monthly increments.
SEER-IT comes with a set of sample Knowledge Bases pre-calibrated for a variety of IT activities. Users can also create custom Knowledge Bases and perform analyses with metrics derived from company project histories and task labor standards.
SEER for IT fills a missing link between project design and project execution, enabling organizations to rapidly establish repeatable and integrated IT project planning process: Developing a concept; testing its feasibility; designing and optimizing project capabilities, costs, schedules, and risks; and developing reliable project plans.
- SEER for IT - Extended Capabilities
- Dan on Estimating BLOG: Information Technology Estimating Category