[ABSTRACT] A ‘Scatter-gun’ or ‘Rifle-shot’ approach to estimating and managing software activities?  

Charles Symons

This talk will describe and compare two approaches to using measurements to control and improve the performance of activities to develop, enhance and maintain software, and to estimate the effort for future activities.

The first approach involves using an organization’s own measurements on its activities combined with use of external benchmarking services and/or commercial estimating tools for the control and estimating tasks. This is referred to as the ‘Scatter-gun’ approach.

The second approach involves using only an organization’s own measurements, in particular using the COSMIC method to measure and estimate software sizes, and to analyse the data internally for the control, performance-improvement and estimating tasks.

Charles will draw conclusions on the relative merits of the two approaches. He will demonstrate that the Scatter-gun approach can be valuable in certain circumstances but that the Rifle-shot approach will ultimately enable greater organizational learning for performance-improvement and yield more accurate effort estimates.