Effects of Feature Complexity on Software Effort Estimates - an Exploratory Study
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Software estimates are an important input to project selection, planning, monitoring as well assessment of projects’ success. However, the practice of estimation is also a challenging activity for many practitioners, and there is a continuing need to understand and improve it. To contribute to the existing knowledge of this process, an in-depth study was conducted where 18 practitioners from eight subdomains at a company producing embedded systems were interviewed. The contribution of this article is twofold: First, it reports the estimation challenges as perceived by the practitioners where the two most prominent were organizational dependencies and complexity of requested features. Second, since feature complexity was noted as one of the estimation challenges, this paper also reports on factors that are driving that complexity, two of the most common being dependencies on functionality developed by other parts of the organization, and functionality that affects the entire product.