QA in Software Projects Estimation – Part 1

Blog > QA in Software Projects Estimation – Part 1

Why is it so important to determine the cost of features early, but not too early in the requirements engineering process?QA in Software Projects Estimation

Here we going to discuss how software project estimation is important.

Value engineering requires estimating the cost of the project. And determine if the cost of a system is within the budget of the customer or even possible to do as well as managing the expectations. According to “Requirements Engineering for Software and Systems”. There is no way to have cost, timing, and functionalities listing all together and modifying one another without affecting the others. The too-early estimation might backfire on you since the customer might think you have overestimated or underestimated the project. In software project estimation modifications of the requirements and the price doesn’t change. Then it will consider as “padding” in the original proposal. You need to consider that this is a step-by-step process and consider details as an estimate only until the compilation of all processes. Using proper tools will help to make this problem under control.

What factors determine which metric or metrics a customer can use to help make meaningful cost-benefit decisions of proposed features for a system to build?

Several mechanisms can be used to determine these factors. A combination of profitability index and integer programming approach will have a good estimate. And finally discounted payback periods consider the safest and more detailed factor to pick the features. Based on the return of investment and cash flow consideration.

How does the role of ranking requirements help in feature selection cost–benefit decision making?

Even if the PI or NVP is high, the ranking can use an integer programming approach to select the requirement with the most return and lower risk first. Ranking requirements are mainly considered for the importance of the feature among stakeholders and sometimes enforced by laws. However, the importance of having the feature built will be considers based on the profitability of the feature and ROI. A requirement can rank high since it’s required by law but overall have no benefit or ROI directly to the company.

What changes (if any) would you need to make to the COCOMO or feature point equation calculations to incorporate the ranking of requirements?

Ranking can be added into the cost drive table (Likert Scale) as an attribute with some values based on high to low. This value can affect the number of inputs (important) in the feature point for example. Another consideration is to average the value of rankings and consider them as another index in the formula.

Learn about the great estimation tools (COCOMO) by clicking here.

Author: Cyrus Akbarpour
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