What software cost estimation model do you use and why?

Gene Leshinsky

VP, Consulting Services at QuantRiver Systems

It depends on the maturity of the client organization. If the project is small enough or similar enough to other projects that I’ve done, I’ll simply SWAG it. If the organization is mature and has a history that we can draw on for past projects, I use detailed requirements and a sort of loose Function Point Analysis. If the organization is less mature, the project is something really new or the requirements are in flux, I break down the project into a WBS (Work Breakdown structure) and use Delphi techniques with the business and the developers. (“SWAG”ing the later phases). It’s more time consuming, but provides a lot of good level-setting between the groups as consensus emerges. I’ve experimented with other techniques, but I usually find myself coming back to these three.