State of the Practice in Software Effort Estimation: A Survey and Literature Review

  • Adam Trendowicz
  • Jürgen Münch
  • Ross Jeffery
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4980)


Effort estimation is a key factor for software project success, defined as delivering software of agreed quality and functionality within schedule and budget. Traditionally, effort estimation has been used for planning and tracking project resources. Effort estimation methods founded on those goals typically focus on providing exact estimates and usually do not support objectives that have recently become important within the software industry, such as systematic and reliable analysis of causal effort dependencies. This article presents the results of a study of software effort estimation from an industrial perspective. The study surveys industrial objectives, the abilities of software organizations to apply certain estimation methods, and actually applied practices of software effort estimation. Finally, requirements for effort estimation methods identified in the survey are compared against existing estimation methods.


software project management effort estimation survey state of the practice state of the art 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Trendowicz
    • 1
  • Jürgen Münch
    • 1
  • Ross Jeffery
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Fraunhofer IESEKaiserslauternGermany
  2. 2.School of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.National ICT Australia, Australian Technology ParkEveleighAustralia

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