An Experimental Study on Obstacles and Management Issues in Software Cost Estimation
The success of software projects strongly depends on accurate estimation of development effort. Pessimistic or optimistic estimates are the main reasons behind the failure of software projects. Different nature of software projects makes the process of effort estimation very complicated. Despite the fact that numerous effort estimation methods have been proposed, the accuracy of estimates is not convincing and the attempts continue to improve the performance of existing estimation methods. Prior studies have mostly focused on numerical and quantitative approaches to increase the accuracy of estimates. Since the software projects are entirely different from other project types, the lack of analytical and survey-based studies can lead to unreliable and inaccurate estimates inside the organizations. The managers must be aware of the situation of organization in terms of effort estimation. This paper proposes an evaluation framework to measure and evaluate the key indicators of effort estimation inside the organization. The indicators include limitations, obstacles and management issues. A survey was conducted by participation of 135 software developers of a large software company. The experimental results were analyzed and discussed to clarify the status of indicators inside the organization. Since the capabilities and shortages for effort estimation are not the same among the organizations, the proposed framework can be utilized to show the real situation of any organizations in the field of software development effort estimation.
Keywords- Software projects, Cost estimation, Survey, Obstacles, Management Issue.