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      A Preliminary Study of Sequence Effects in Judgment-based Software Development Work-Effort Estimation

      ,

      12th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) (EASE)

      Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)

      26 - 27 June 2008

      software effort estimation, judgment-based estimation, sequence effects

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          Abstract

          Context: Software development effort estimates are often inaccurate, and this inaccuracy cause problems for the clients as well as the providers. Consequently, we need more knowledge about the estimation processes, so that we can improve them.

          Objective: This study investigates how initial judgment-based estimation of work effort in software development affects subsequent, unrelated estimation work.

          Method: Fifty-six software professionals from the same company were allocated randomly to two groups. One group estimated the most likely effort required to complete a small software development task, while the other group estimated the effort required to complete a large task. After that, all the subjects estimated the effort required to complete the same medium-sized task. We replicated the experiment in another company (with 17 software professionals).

          Results: We found that sequence effects may have a strong impact on judgment-based effort estimates. Both in the first experiment and in the replication, the subsequent estimates were assimilated towards the subjects’ initial estimate, i.e., the group that began with a small task supplied, on average, lower estimates of the medium-sized task than the group that began with the large task.

          Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that knowledge about sequence effects may be important in order to improve estimation processes. However, currently we have a quite incomplete understanding of how, when and how much sequence effects affect effort estimation. Consequently, further research is needed.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Measures of Anchoring in Estimation Tasks

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            Consequences of priming: Judgment and behavior.

             Paul Herr (1986)
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              Top-down and bottom-up expert estimation of software development effort

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                June 2008
                June 2008
                : 1-7
                Affiliations
                Simula Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 134NO-1325 Lysaker, Norway
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/EASE2008.14
                © Stein Grimstad et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. 12th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                12th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)
                EASE
                12
                University of Bari, Italy
                26 - 27 June 2008
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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