Accuracy of Software Development Estimation - Swproposal

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An accurate estimate is of vital importance for software development projects undergoing competitive bidding. The following core factors significantly impact the level of accuracy:
  • Project's scope, stage and complexity
  • Detailed software requirements and risks analysis

There are several techniques that can greatly improve the accuracy of a software project estimate, including:

1) Parametric project estimation such as COCOMO (Constructive Cost Model), which is often based on average known rates, such as the number of lines of code. For example, a software development project that is expected to have around 40,000 lines of code at a cost of $4 per line of code would come out to a total of approx. $160,000. This project estimation technique is highly dependent on the quality of the data source.

2) Work scope breakdown estimation, which splits the project's work scope into life-cycle phases (stages) and estimates the cost and effort (man-hours) of each of them. Each phase is broken down to greater levels of detail: tasks, sub-tasks, etc. The individual cost of each phase, task, and sub-task is then totaled to form the full work scope project estimation.

Taking the work scope breakdown estimation of a software development project is the most time-consuming and can require a considerable amount of effort, but it does provide a high level of accuracy. You can more easily win a client's trust when he discovers in your software development proposal that you estimate each phase, task, and sub-task separately based on the hourly rates of the staff involved, which may include: project manager, senior developers, mid-level software engineers, designers, Quality Assurance engineers, etc. This shows that simple tasks are not performed by senior developers that have high hourly rates and vice versa. The breakdown estimation technique allows phases, tasks, and sub-tasks to be added and deleted until the project's work scope suits the client's budget.

We hope you found this short introduction on how to improve the accuracy of your software development estimates helpful. We will be back soon with more detailed information. Until then, we recommend creating software development proposals using swproposal, as this provides you the possibility to accurately estimate client projects using the work scope breakdown estimation technique.Such proposal proves your professionalism and will win your clients' trust.

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