Monday, June 27, 2005 

Estimation models

Today I've been playing again with custom estimation models for software development. Custom models are derived from historical customer's data, and can accurately reflect the peculiarites of the customer's environment.
The model I'm working with is tailored to estimate debugging time given the coding time and 5 boolean properties of the project (e.g. new developments Vs. maintenance). The properties have been selected for their statistical significance for a specific customer.
Reflecting my approach to estimates and risk management (I'll write more on that) the model provides a "most likely" figure, but also a probability distribution, so that you can ask questions like "what is the maximum debug time, with 90% confidence?".
Of course, given an early estimate of coding time, we can apply the model and get back a rough estimate of debugging time, still quite useful as a sanity check. We can also play what-if scenarios with the boolean properties, see the impact (for those under control) and steer the project accordingly.

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