whose headquarters are in Seattle, Washington; is one of the fastest
growing technology service providers in the West. Best's forefront technology
division, NewTec Consulting, has adopted
CS/10,000 as their standard estimation and process management tool.
With Microsoft Corporation as their largest client, NewTec has developed
an impressive track record of successful IT projects. While NewTec has
proven very savvy on projects that implement new technologies, NewTec
Solutions Architect, Christina Pierce, saw room for improvement in their
NewTec, technology was not our problem; instead it was the lack of standardization
in our proposal generation process. We didn't have any formal way of
generating estimates and project plans - this inevitably led to inconsistent
to streamline their process, NewTec began an evaluation of several different
proposal generation and process management tools. They narrowed down
their search to LBMS's Process Engineer. During the process of evaluating
Process Engineer, however, NewTec was introduced to CS/10,000. "
We quickly realized that CS/10,000 is unlike any tool that we have ever
seen," says Pierce. "CS/10,000 is built around a developer's
viewpoint rather than an academician's. Also, CS/10,000 is incredibly
easy to learn." One of the deciding factors in choosing CS/10,000
was that it has virtually no learning curve, and NewTec could implement
a 10-user license of CS/10,000. The software was installed on the corporate
LAN and deployed to NewTec's solutions architects to aid in the proposal
process. Pierce's group uses CS/10,000's Architecture Advisor, Task
Advisor and Estimation Advisors for new proposals.
To date, NewTec has used CS/10,000 to design the proposals that eventually
won them business to pursue three different projects. Pierce explains,
"The CS/10,000 Advisors give us a great first cut architecture,
project plan and estimate in very little time."
proposal process now begins by launching CS/10,000's Architecture Advisor.
"The Architecture Advisor is excellent because it not only recommends
client/server architectures, but also provides us with a standardized
set of questions for gathering architecture requirements," says
Architecture Advisor was used on a project proposal for a multi-speciality
medical clinic. After walking through the questionnaire the Architecture
Advisor's expert-system recommended 5 possible architectures. After
reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each architecture, as
provided by CS/10,000, NewTec zeroed in on "Remote Presentation"
as the client/server architecture solution for the project.
client, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, NewTec was tasked to perform
an architectural analysis. "With CS/10,000 it was easy - we went
directly to the CS/10,000 architecture repository, grabbed a set of
architecture diagrams and supporting documentation, and then had to
make only slight modifications," says Pierce. "Our customer
was very pleased with the results."
the Architect Advisor, the CS/10,000 Task Advisor is used to generate
customized project plans. "The CS/10,000 Task Advisor gives us
a good starting place and workplan which can be easily customized,"
says Pierce. Another advantage of the Task Advisor for Pierce's group
is the repository of standardized project tasks, "With CS/10,000
we will now all be referring to the same terminology and techniques."
After a project
plan is generated, NewTec's solution architects use the CS/10,000 Estimation
Advisor to generate an estimated project cost. NewTec used the CS/10,000
Estimation Advisor to accurately estimate the time and cost to design
and implement a database system for tracking patient scheduling and
information for a multi-speciality medical clinic. Pierce explains,
"Based on the person-hours estimate given by the CS/10,000 Estimation
Advisor, we saw that the project would cost roughly $750,000. Based
on our own previous estimates, we had figured on a cost of $400,000.
We were disconcerted by such a large discrepancy. Later in the proposal
process, we discovered that we had not gathered all of the requirements.
It turned out that the CS/10,000 estimator was much closer to a realistic
CS/10,000, NewTec lacked a consistent method for estimating projects.
"Basically, we used 'gut' feeling to estimate projects," says
Pierce. "Some of our people were better at estimating than others."
Pierce further explains, " CS/10,000 helps ensure that we estimate
projects consistently. It helps us eliminate some of the tendency to
make estimates fit in to what the customers want to pay, rather than
the actual project requirements. This reduces risk for us and for our
CS/10,000, our proposal process has definitely been refined," asserts