Preferred Requirements Gathering Techniques - 4

By: Crestech

Effort Estimation
Effort estimation consists in predict how many hours of work and how many workers are needed to develop a project. The effort invested in a software project is probably one of the most important and most analysed variables in recent years in the process of project management. The determination of the value of this variable when initiating software projects allows us to plan adequately any forthcoming activities. As far as estimation and prediction is concerned there is still a number of unsolved problems and errors. To obtain good results it is essential to take into consideration any previous projects. Estimating the effort with a high grade of reliability is a problem which has not yet been solved and even the project manager has to deal with it since the beginning.

Cost Estimation
It is the responsibility of the project manager to make accurate estimations of effort and cost. This is particularly true for projects subject to competitive bidding where a bid too high compared with competitors would result in loosing the contract or a bid too low could result in a loss to the organisation . This does not mean that internal projects are unimportant. From a project leaders estimate the management often decide whether to proceed with the project. Industry has a need for accurate estimates of effort and size at a very early stage in a project. However, when software cost estimates are done early in the software development process the estimate can be based on wrong or incomplete requirements. A software cost estimate process is the set of techniques and procedures that an organisation use to arrive at an estimate. An important aspect of software projects is to know the cost, The major contributing factor is effort.

Why SCE is difficult and error prone ?

Software cost estimation requires a significant amount of effort to perform it correctly.
SCE is often done hurriedly, without an appreciation for the effort required.
You need experience at developing estimates, especially for large projects.
Human bias i.e An Estimator is likely to consider how long a certain portion of the system would take, and then to merely extrapolate this estimate to the rest of the system, ignoring the non-linear aspects of software development.

The causes of poor and inaccurate estimation

imprecise and drifting requirements
new software projects are nearly always different form the last.
software practitioners don't collect enough information about past projects.
estimates are forced to match the resources available.

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