The project addresses key areas which have a major effect on the profitability of any organisation producing software. The specific objectives are to:
- improve the accuracy of cost estimates
- use metrics to identify ways to improve the general software development process
- increase the effectiveness of the capture and exploitation of experience.
The estimating experiment consists of two parts: the first to collect data to calibrate the chosen techniques, and the second to use the new techniques and evaluate them. Evaluation will be based on a comparison of the accuracy of the estimates obtained. Estimates will be produced for a wide range of projects. The experiments for improvement and experience involve the identification of suitable metrics, the collection of associated data on a number of projects and the evaluation of the metrics. The evaluation will compare the cost of identifying and collecting the metrics with the value they give to the business.
The Software Engineering Centre (SEC) has about 130 staff.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The impact within the SEC is expected to be:
- an improved metrics process leading to more accurate cost estimating
- identification of weaknesses in the development process
- the establishment of a longer term and continuing process improvement environment, through the creation of a "metrics culture".
All will benefit the SEC and its customers alike. The SEC has links not only to the Ministry of Defence but also to industry, and will use these to disseminate the benefits and experiences to a wide audience.