Factors systematically associated with errors in subjective estimates of software development effort: The stability of expert judgment
Gray, Andrew; MacDonell, Stephen; Shepperd, Martin
Software metric-based estimation of project development effort is most often performed by expert judgment rather than by using an empirically derived model (although such may be used by the expert to assist their decision). One question that can be asked about these estimates is how stable are they with respect to characteristics of the development process and product? This stability can be assessed in relation to the degree to which the project has advanced over time, the type of module for which the estimate is being made, and the characteristics of that module. In this paper we examine a set of expert-derived estimates for the effort required to develop a collection of modules from a large health-care system. Statistical tests are used to identify relationships between the type (screen or report) and characteristics of modules and the likelihood of the associated development effort being under-estimated, approximately correct, or over-estimated. Distinct relationships are found that suggest that the estimation process being examined was not unbiased to such characteristics.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 99/16
Research Type: Discussion Paper