Project Management

Software Estimation using a Combination of Techniques

PMI Denmark Chapter

Klaus Nielsen, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-PBA, PMP, is the managing director at Global Business Development in Denmark and is an associate lecturer in project and program management at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has over 15 years of project management experience in managing and delivering complex, high-visibility information systems projects.

This article covers the basics of software estimation techniques by taking a brief journey through time in order to understand the past and current states of estimation techniques. The purpose of this journey is to build upon the best practices of estimation and, in the process, understand more about the techniques and best practices from the traditional software and agile environments. The presentation of the wide range of software estimation techniques will help broaden the perspective on estimation from traditional techniques to the new agile techniques.

The article will demonstrate how traditional and agile estimation techniques may be employed in new ways. Overall, the article is based upon the foundation of best practices on software estimation (with emphasis on the use of more than one or two techniques), getting more than one opinion, estimates might start at ranges, and the value of documenting your estimates for trust and historical data. Software estimation with a combination of techniques is a bit of an art, but mostly, it is just applied best practices project management in practice.

Know the Past, Find the Future of Estimation

Estimation techniques may be considered a young discipline within information technology, but still with a bit of history that points toward the future. Several sources refer back to Peter V. Norden, Project RAND (…


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