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"We quickly realized that CS/10,000 is unlike any tool that we have ever seen...
CS/10,000 is built around a developer's viewpoint rather than an academician's. Also, CS/10,000 is incredibly easy to learn."

Christina Pierce - NewTec's Solution Architect

     
 

Best Consulting, 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 proposal process.

"At 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 proposals."

In order 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 it immediately.

NewTec purchased 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."

NewTec's 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 Pierce.

The CS/10,000 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.

For another 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."

After running 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 estimate. "

Before adopting 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 clients."

"With CS/10,000, our proposal process has definitely been refined," asserts Pierce.

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