Software Estimation Demystifying the Black Art

ISBN-10: 0735605351
ISBN-13: 9780735605350
Edition: 2006 (Revised)
Authors: Steve McConnell
List price: $44.99 Buy it from $21.58
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Description: A practical guide for software developers and development teams, this book features effective and understandable formulas, procedures, and heuristics to help organizations improve their project cost estimates. Often referred to as the "black art"  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.99
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 2/22/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 7.25" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

A practical guide for software developers and development teams, this book features effective and understandable formulas, procedures, and heuristics to help organizations improve their project cost estimates. Often referred to as the "black art" because of its complexity and uncertainty, software estimation is not as hard or mysterious as people think. However, the art of how to create effective cost and schedule estimates has not been very well publicized. While the average software organization can struggle with project costs that run double their original estimates, some of the more sophisticated organizations achieve results with estimation errors as low as 5--10%. These best-in-class organizations use scientific techniques that are not cost-effective, however, making them of limited use to most software development organizations. To address these issues, Software Estimation focuses on the art of software estimation and provides a proven set of procedures and heuristics that software developers, technical leads, and project managers can apply to their projects. Instead of arcane treatises and rigid modeling techniques, award-winning author Steve McConnell gives practical guidance to help organizations achieve basic estimation proficiency and lay the groundwork to continue improving project cost estimates. This book is organized from simple tips to more advanced ideas; it does not avoid the more hairy mathematical estimation approaches, but the non-mathematical reader will find plenty of useful guidelines without getting bogged down in complex formulas.

Steve McConnell, the Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software, graduated from Whitman College and received an M. A. in software design from Seattle University, where he later taught. In addition to writing books, articles, reviews and columns, McConnell provides a consulting service to several companies. His books "Code Complete" (1993) and "Rapid Development" (1996) have both won Software Development magazine's Jolt award. The latter also won Windows Tech Journal's Star Tech award.

Welcome
Acknowledgments
Equations
Figures
Critical Estimation Concepts
What Is an "Estimate"?
How Good an Estimator Are You?
Value of Accurate Estimates
Where Does Estimation Error Come From?
Estimate Influences
Fundamental Estimation Techniques
Introduction to Estimation Techniques
Count, Compute, Judge
Calibration and Historical Data
Individual Expert Judgment
Decomposition and Recomposition
Estimation by Analogy
Proxy-Based Estimates
Expert Judgment in Groups
Software Estimation Tools
Use of Multiple Approaches
Flow of Software Estimates on a Well-Estimated Project
Standardized Estimation Procedures
Specific Estimation Challenges
Special Issues in Estimating Size
Special Issues in Estimating Effort
Special Issues in Estimating Schedule
Estimating Planning Parameters
Estimate Presentation Styles
Politics, Negotiation, and Problem Solving
Estimate Sanity Check
Answers to Quiz, ""
Software Estimation Tips
Bibliography
Appendix : Steve McConnell

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