Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recently I came across the word “off-label”.  It is the term used by the medical community when a drug is used to treat a condition for which it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.   We sometimes use TruePlanning for “off-label” purposes. A good example would be using the TruePlanning Calibration tool to answer such questions as, what is the maximum number of source lines of code (SLOC) I can get and remain within my budget?  I call this TruePlanning Optimization. Here is an example answering the SLOC question.

First begin by performing a normal cost estimate for your software project. If the cost is under your budget and the project contains all the software functionality you would like, you are “home free”. If you have excess budget and would like to see how much more functionality you can add or if you are over budget and need to consider eliminating some functionality to stay within budget, then the following is for you.

Let’s say that the requirements call for 10,000 SLOC of C++ code. Using the TruePlanning Software and TruePlanning Systems catalogs, the total cost is $873,299, but our budget is only $750,000. How many SLOC can we purchase given our budget? This question can be answered quickly and easily using the TruePlanning Calibration tool. Open the TruePlanning Calibration tool and select a New calibration. On the Calibration Settings screen, for the Inputs Cost Selection, choose the Software Component cost object and New Code Size. For the Output Cost Selection, choose System Folder and Estimated Cost. For the Target Value, enter the $750,000 and adjust the Tolerance and Maximum Iterations.

Now, on the Calibrations screen, click on Calibrate and the answer appears as the Calibrated Input. As shown below, we can purchase 8,594 SLOC with our $750,000 budget. Next the big question is, what functionality can we safely eliminate in going from the 10,000 SLOC to the 8,594 SLOC?

As you can see, the medical folks are not the only ones who use things “off-label”.    The more you use TruePlanning, the more likely you are to discover new, creative uses for TruePlanning. Off-label is not a bad word or concept.

John Long
Solutions Consultant, PRICE Systems