Get a handle on skyrocketing software costs. Are your software costs spiraling out of control? Do your projects chronically run late, exceed budget, and go out the door bug-laden, if at all? Have you discovered a commercial software cost estimating tool that works for your situation? Are you even familiar with how these increasingly sophisticated tools operate? Capers Jones, a pioneer and innovator in the field, probes the fundamental issues involved with the notoriously tough task of software cost estimation. Rather than provide simplistic manual formulas that lack the accuracy needed for contracts and serious business purposes, he explores in great detail the mutifaceted variables that cause estimates to be higher or lower than average. The result for you: A clear, complete understanding of how to estimate software costs, schedules, and quality far more effectively than you may have thought possible. You'll learn the technical details of how software cost estimates are produced...what kinds of commercial tools are available...how these tools work within various project management suites...and how to troubleshoot and solve typical problems, such as: sizing the project before requirements are firm; dealing with creeping requirements; handling excessive schedule pressure; taking international factors into account; planning for contractual and legal concerns.
Review By: Mary Ann Overbaugh 02/01/2008This book is intended for all who want to understand how to manage a budget by focusing on the involved factors and the thought process that goes into developing a fairly close cost estimate. Drawing from his years in the business, Jones is able to point out pitfalls and add considerations that less experience people might overlook. That's why I think this book should be in everyone's bookcase, if they have budgeting responsibilities.
Jones may be slightly over-optimistic in his approach, but he presents many ways to attack the initial first cut, thus hopefully creating open dialogue that can lead to crafting a plan with which everyone can live. Jones emphasizes that it’s better to consider every facet and then cut back though prioritization and consensus.
Jones opens his own thought process to us as he tackles each chapter. He demonstrates the breadth of this topic and how correctly setting a budget size is the best start for any project.
If you have any responsibility for managing a software development budget and nailing the costs down has not been easy, this book is for you.
Back in the '90s, I was fortunate enough to attend one of Capers Jones' presentations. Since I am not a math wiz, I was completely taken by the facile way Jones was able to reduce hypothesis to fact. Through bending and shaping the numbers, he told a different story on each slide of his presentation.
This book tells stories in which he deals with all aspects of cost estimates as it applies to different software development methods--from CMMI, software function points, to the soft side of managing--to get the most work from employee hours. There is example after example of carefully thought-out tables, graphs, metrics and weighting factors, and many rules-of-thumb to help you begin your budgeting process.