Efes: an effort estimation methodology

Tunalılar, Seçkin
The estimation of effort is at the heart of project tasks, since it is used for many purposes such as cost estimation, budgeting, monitoring, project planning, control and software investments. Researchers analyze problems of the estimation, propose new models and use new techniques to improve accuracy. However up to now, there is no comprehensive estimation methodology to guide companies in their effort estimation tasks. Effort estimation problem is not only a computational but also a managerial problem. It requires estimation goals, execution steps, applied measurement methods and updating mechanisms to be properly defined. Besides project teams should have motivation and responsibilities to build a reliable database. If such methodology is not defined, common interpretation will not be constituted among software teams of the company, and variances in measurements and divergences in collected information prevents to collect sufficient historical information for building accurate models. This thesis proposes a methodology for organizations to manage and execute effort estimation processes. The approach is based on the reported best practices, v empirical results of previous studies and solutions to problems & conflicts described in literature. Five integrated processes: Data Collection, Size Measurement, Data Analysis, Calibration, Effort Estimation processes are developed with their artifacts, procedures, checklists and templates. The validation and applicability of the methodology is checked in a middle-size software company. During the validation of methodology we also evaluated some concepts such as Functional Similarity (FS) and usage of Base Functional Components (BFC) in effort model on a reliable dataset. By this way we evaluated whether these subjects should be a part of methodology or not. Besides in this study it is the first time that the COSMIC has been used for Artificial Neural Network models.