Estimation issues in software project management

Software engineering managers have a special need to estimate the parameters of time, cost and performance of a project.The key factors for estimation are categorized into four broad areas: project goals, project complexity, work environment, and human environment.Project goals include development cost and speed of completion, manpower, and quality and reliability.Project complexity may either be process or product oriented.Work environment includes everything from software to furniture and policies.Human environment factors encompass stimulating work environment, overall leadership and management direction, tangible rewards, job security, open communication.A survey was conducted using a questionnaire that was posted on the USENET bulletin board.Several key factors important in estimating software projects were identified by the respondents.In addition, a description of the software development cycle is discussed.
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