Software Estimation

Tom Hume writes:

To my mind, estimation underpins the whole software development process: it’s where we, as a service agency, decide on how to cost out our work, and it leads directly to the time commitments we make to clients. It’s also well-understood to be difficult to estimate tasks you’ve never done before; for us this is particularly problematic because we often find ourselves doing things for the first time which we (or occasionally no-one) has any relevant experience of; we often target devices which may not be on the market yet; and we often have to adapt existing applications for entirely new platforms.

So I’ve started estimating all our projects using a custom spreadsheet and a process which has us laying down worst, most likely and best case estimates for individual function points, and calculating an “expected case” from these. I record these in a spreadsheet and re-estimate over time, recording all estimation.

One thought on “Software Estimation

  1. Although the approach seems to be convincing, there are a major loop hole. What you look similar to a WBS kind of approach, you cannot keep revisiting your estimates based on how the going is :-).. i understand that you work on a R&D (research) kind of projects, but If you dont make your targets, it means probably You require additional training (or) you are lacking certain aspects of business/technology. If we dont meet the dates, find the why and address rathern than revise a new target..

    Hvaing said that, In such projects, I would recommend that the initial estimates factor this . The management should address this as a risk and identify mitigation strategy..

    The opportunity cost and other costs due to shedule deviation should always be kept in mind

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