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

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      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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            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Conference
            June 2008
            June 2008
            : 1-7
            Affiliations
            [0001]Simula Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 134NO-1325 Lysaker, Norway
            Article
            10.14236/ewic/EASE2008.14
            84c37042-a468-4e0b-940e-299ea18f222d
            © 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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