search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Subject: Software Cost Estimates

How to Identify Key Causal Factors That Influence Software Costs: A Case Study

How to Identify Key Causal Factors That Influence Software Costs: A Case Study

• SEI Blog
Bill Nichols

DoD programs continue to experience cost overruns; the inadequacies of cost estimation were cited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as one of the top problem areas. A recent SEI blog post by my fellow researcher Robert Stoddard, Why Does Software Cost So Much?, explored SEI work that is aimed at improving estimation and management of the costs of software-intensive systems. In this post, I provide an example of how causal learning might be used...

Read More
Improving the Reliability of Expert Opinion within Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation

Improving the Reliability of Expert Opinion within Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation

• SEI Blog
Robert Stoddard

As part of our research related to early acquisition lifecycle cost estimation for the Department of Defense (DoD), my colleagues in the SEI's Software Engineering Measurement & Analysis initiative and I began envisioning a potential solution that would rely heavily on expert judgment of future possible program execution scenarios. Previous to our work on cost estimation, many parametric cost models required domain expert input, but, in our opinion, they did not address alternative scenarios of...

Read More
Quantifying Uncertainty in Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation (QUELCE): An Update

Quantifying Uncertainty in Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation (QUELCE): An Update

• SEI Blog
David Zubrow

By law, major defense acquisition programs are now required to prepare cost estimates earlier in the acquisition lifecycle, including pre-Milestone A, well before concrete technical information is available on the program being developed. Estimates are therefore often based on a desired capability--or even on an abstract concept--rather than a concrete technical solution plan to achieve the desired capability. Hence the role and modeling of assumptions becomes more challenging. This blog posting outlines a multi-year project...

Read More
The Growing Importance of Sustaining Software for the DoD: Part 1

The Growing Importance of Sustaining Software for the DoD: Part 1

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

Department of Defense (DoD) programs have traditionally focused on the software acquisition phase (initial procurement, development, production, and deployment) and largely discounted the software sustainment phase (operations and support) until late in the lifecycle. The costs of software sustainment are becoming too high to discount since they account for 60 to 90 percent of the total software lifecycle effort....

Read More
A New Approach for Developing Cost Estimates in Software Reliant Systems, Second in a Two-Part Series

A New Approach for Developing Cost Estimates in Software Reliant Systems, Second in a Two-Part Series

• SEI Blog
Robert Ferguson

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has frequently cited poor cost estimation as one of the reasons for cost overrun problems in acquisition programs. Software is often a major culprit. One study on cost estimation by the Naval Postgraduate School found a 34 percent median value increase of software size over the estimate. Cost overruns lead to painful Congressional scrutiny, and an overrun in one program often cascades and leads to the depletion of funds from...

Read More
Improving the Accuracy of Early Cost Estimates for Software-Reliant Systems, First in a Two-Part Series

Improving the Accuracy of Early Cost Estimates for Software-Reliant Systems, First in a Two-Part Series

• SEI Blog
Robert Ferguson

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has frequently citedpoor cost estimation as one of the reasons for cost overrun problems in acquisition programs. Software is often a major culprit. One study on cost estimation by the Naval Postgraduate School found a 34 percent median value increase of software size over the estimate. Cost overruns lead to painful Congressional scrutiny, and an overrun in one program often leads to the depletion of funds from another. This post,...

Read More