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Developing and Using Checklists to Improve Software Effort Estimation: a Multi-Case Study
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0639-4234
bFederal University of Piaui , BRA.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 146, p. 286-309Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Expert judgment based effort estimation techniques are widely used for estimating software effort. In the absence of process support, experts may overlook important factors during estimation, leading to inconsistent estimates. This might cause underestimation, which is a common problem in software projects. This multi-case study aims to improve expert estimation of software development effort. Our goal is two-fold: 1) to propose a process to develop and evolve estimation checklists for agile teams, and 2) to evaluate the usefulness of the checklists in improving expert estimation processes. The use of checklists improved the accuracy of the estimates in two case companies. In particular, the underestimation bias was reduced to a large extent. For the third case, we could not perform a similar analysis, due to the unavailability of historical data. However, when checklist was used in two sprints, the estimates were quite accurate (median Balanced Relative Error (BRE) bias of -0.05 ). The study participants from the case companies observed several benefits of using the checklists during estimation, such as increased confidence in estimates, improved consistency due to help in recalling relevant factors, more objectivity in the process, improved understanding of the tasks being estimated, and reduced chances of missing tasks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 146, p. 286-309
Keywords [en]
Effort estimation, checklist, agile software development
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-15871DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.09.054ISI: 000451488900019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-15871DiVA, id: diva2:1181449
Available from: 2018-02-08 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improving Expert Estimation of Software Development Effort in Agile Contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving Expert Estimation of Software Development Effort in Agile Contexts
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2018
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 4
Keywords
Expert effort estimation, Agile software development, Checklist
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15870 (URN)978-91-7295-350-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-20, J1650, BTH Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-15 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Usman, MuhammadPetersen, KaiBörstler, Jürgen

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