Software Cost Estimator Becomes a Real Profession!

In the IT industry, estimation maturity processes on average are still quite low. Unfortunately, large sums of money are still wasted because projects are not estimated professionally.  This results in cost and schedule overruns.

One of the issues in the industry is the fact that the Software Cost Estimator is not a recognized profession yet. In many organizations, estimates are based on experience and opinions of biased human experts, instead of on relevant historical data and parametric models.

Nesma and ICEAA (International Cost Estimation and Analysis Association), supported by ISBSG, are now working together to create the role ‘Software Cost Estimator’, which is a professional role for estimating software related activities and products.

In cooperation with a number of supporting organizations and professionals in the industry, Nesma and ICEAA have been working together, for the last few years, to develop a Software Cost Estimation Body of Knowledge (sCEBoK).

In line with the certification programs ICEAA already has for cost estimation, the goal is to develop a certification program for the Software Cost Estimator. The plan is to have the first professional Software Cost Estimators certified next year at the ICEAA conference (May 2019, Tampa (Fl.)) and also at the IWSM (November 2019, Haarlem, the Netherlands).

At the ICEAA conference in Phoenix, organized in June 2018, the following 14 sCEBoK modules were presented:

  • Estimation methods – Formal
  • Estimation models – Size based methods
  • Estimation in the software lifecycle
  • Estimation principles
  • Solution based estimation
  • Cost drivers
  • Benchmarking
  • Basis of Estimate (BOE)
  • Basis of Measurement (BOM)
  • Data collection and basic data analysis
  • Statistics to support basic metric analysis
  • Budget process
  • Application Maintenance
  • Estimation maturity

The ISBSG mission is to improve decision making in the industry through the creation and exploitation of high quality repositories of relevant industry data and of software engineering knowledge. Therefore, ISBSG fully supports this initiative!

For more information, please contact ISBSG president Harold van Heeringen (president@isbsg.org).