Table of Contents

software estimation: demystifying the black art
Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art
bySteve McConnell
Microsoft Press 2006 (338 pages)

Providing a proven set of procedures and heuristics that software developers, technical leads, and project managers can apply to their projects, this guide will help organizations achieve basic estimation proficiency.

Table of Contents
Software Estimation—Demystifying the Black Art
Part I - Critical Estimation Concepts
Chapter 1 - What Is an "Estimate"?
Chapter 2 - How Good an Estimator Are You?
Chapter 3 - Value of Accurate Estimates
Chapter 4 - Where Does Estimation Error Come From?
Chapter 5 - Estimate Influences
Part II - Fundamental Estimation Techniques
Chapter 6 - Introduction to Estimation Techniques
Chapter 7 - Count, Compute, Judge
Chapter 8 - Calibration and Historical Data
Chapter 9 - Individual Expert Judgment
Chapter 10 - Decomposition and Recomposition
Chapter 11 - Estimation by Analogy
Chapter 12 - Proxy-Based Estimates
Chapter 13 - Expert Judgment in Groups
Chapter 14 - Software Estimation Tools
Chapter 15 - Use of Multiple Approaches
Chapter 16 - Flow of Software Estimates on a Well-Estimated Project
Chapter 17 - Standardized Estimation Procedures
Part III - Specific Estimation Challenges
Chapter 18 - Special Issues in Estimating Size
Chapter 19 - Special Issues in Estimating Effort
Chapter 20 - Special Issues in Estimating Schedule
Chapter 21 - Estimating Planning Parameters
Chapter 22 - Estimate Presentation Styles
Chapter 23 - Politics, Negotiation, and Problem Solving
Appendix A - Estimate Sanity Check
Appendix B - Answers to Chapter 2 Quiz, "How Good an Estimator Are You?"
Appendix C - Software Estimation Tips
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Sidebars

Unlike other books that focus exclusively on the science of estimation—including rigid modeling techniques and continuous feedback loops that are not cost effective to most organizations—this unique guide offers practical, tested, hands-on advice for estimating software development costs in the real world. It is written by the award-winning author of Code Complete.

Key Book Benefits:

  • Delivers practical insights about a critical subject too-often obscured by academic jargon
  • Two-color graphics present mathematical information in an easy-to-understand format
  • Provides specific practices that can be used immediately by any software development organization
  • Features numerous, to-the-point tips about the estimation process, as well as individual steps to creating successful estimates

About the Author

Steve McConnell is Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software where he oversees Construx's software engineering practices. Steve is the lead for the Construction Knowledge Area of the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) project. Steve has worked on software projects at Microsoft, Boeing, and other Seattle-area companies. Steve was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of a Software Development magazine Productivity Award.

Steve is the author of Rapid Development (1996), Software Project Survival Guide (1998), Professional Software Development (2004) and Code Complete, Second Edition (2004). His books have twice won Software Development magazine's Jolt Product Excellence Award for outstanding software development book of the year. Steve was also the lead developer of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of a Software Development Productivity award. In 1998, readers of Software Development magazine named Steve one of the three most influential people in the software industry, along with Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds.

Steve earned a Bachelor's degree from Whitman College and a Master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University. He lives in Bellevue, Washington.