Should duration and team size be used for effort estimation?

Takeshi Kakimoto, Masateru Tsunoda, Akito Monden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Project management activities such as scheduling and project progress management are important to avoid project failure. As a basis of project management, effort estimation plays a fundamental role. To estimate software development effort by mathematical models, variables which are fixed before the estimation are used as independent variables. Some studies used team size and project duration as independent variables. Although they are sometimes fixed because of the limitation of human resources or business schedule, they may change by the end of the project. For instance, when delivery is delayed, actual duration and estimated duration is different. So, although using team size and project duration may enhance estimation accuracy, the error may also lower the accuracy. To help practitioners to select independent variables, we analyzed whether team size and duration should be used or not, when we consider the error included in the team size and the duration. In the experiment, we assumed that duration and team size include errors when effort is estimated. To analyze influence of the errors, we add n% errors to duration and team size. As a result, using duration as an independent variable was not very effective in many cases. In contrast, using maximum team size as an independent variable was effective when the error rate is equal or less than 50%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Computational Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Estimation error
  • Productivity
  • Project management
  • Software effort prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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