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Estimating Software Costs: Bringing Realism to Estimating 2nd Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071483001
ISBN-10: 0071483004
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Get a handle on skyrocketing software costs. Are your software costs spiraling out of control? Do your projects chronically run late, exceed budget, and go out the door bug-laden, if at all? Have you discovered a commercial software cost estimating tool that works for your situation? Are you even familiar with how these increasingly sophisticated tools operate? Capers Jones, a pioneer and innovator in the field, probes the fundamental issues involved with the notoriously tough task of software cost estimation. Rather than provide simplistic manual formulas that lack the accuracy needed for contracts and serious business purposes, he explores in great detail the mutifaceted variables that cause estimates to be higher or lower than average. The result for you: A clear, complete understanding of how to estimate software costs, schedules, and quality far more effectively than you may have thought possible. You'll learn the technical details of how software cost estimates are produced...what kinds of commercial tools are these tools work within various project management suites...and how to troubleshoot and solve typical problems, such as: sizing the project before requirements are firm; dealing with creeping requirements; handling excessive schedule pressure; taking international factors into account; planning for contractual and legal concerns. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Capers Jones is a leading authority in the world of software estimating. He was the founder and chairman of Software Productivity Research, where he currently serves as chief scientist emeritus.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 644 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071483004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071483001
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Capers Jones is vice president and Chief Technology Officer of Namcook Analytics LLC. His web site is Namcook Analytics designs and builds advanced software risk, quality, and cost prediction tools.

Capers Jones is working on his 15th book, The Technical and Social History of Software Engeering, to be published by Addison Wesley in 2013.

Capers Jones was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. He later attended the University of Florida in Gainesville.

While working for the U.S. Public Health Service as an editor, he had an opportunity to learn programming. He then became a programmer/analyst and worked on software applications for hospital administration.

In 1965 he moved to corporate industry as a systems analyst for Crane Company. Two years later he joined IBM in Boulder, Colorado. At IBM he became interested in software estimating, and developed a proprietary estimating tool for IBM with Dr. Charles Turk. After both management and research positions in IBM, he was invited to join a new software laboratory being created by the ITT Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. As assistant director of measurements he was part of the company's first software measurement program.

In 1984 he founded Software Productivity Research (SPR), and began to develop commercial software estimating tools. SPQR/20 in 1984 was the first commercial estimating tool based on function point metrics. Allan Albrecht, the inventor of function points, joined SPR after retiring from IBM. While at SPR Allan developed the first certification exam for function point analysis.

Capers first software management book was Programming Productivity: Issues for the Eighties, published by the IEEE Computer Society Press in 1979. He has now published more than a dozen books on software management topics including Estimating Software Costs, 2nd edition, McGraw Hilll 2007; Applied Software Measurement 3rd edition, McGraw Hill, 2008; and Software Engineering Best Practices, McGraw Hill, 2010. His next book will be The Economics of Software Quality with Jitendra Subramanyam as co author. It will be published by Addison Wesley later in 2011.

In 2006 Capers switched genres and published a history book entitled "The History and Future of Narragansett Bay." This book covers the geology, ecology, and settlement of the Bay region from before the last ice age through modern times. It also discusses the Native Americans who lived and still live near the Bay, and the settlement history of 18 Bay towns. Economic and political topics are also included.

His current research topics include early, high-speed sizing of software applications; improving software quality control, and improving software risk and value analysis prior to funding major applications. He is also working on expanding function points to included "data points" for sizing data bases and "value point" for integrating financial and non-financial value topics.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MAURICIO AGUIAR on April 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains lots of useful data on the software development process -- including productivity -- using both LOC and IFPUG Function Points. It includes basic rules of thumb for estimating schedules and effort. It is a good starting point for organizations that do not have their own historical data to base their estimates on. An excellent reference to have within reach if you work with software measurement.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Other people (in old-fashioned waterfall projects) may find this comprehensive and thick book helpful; I did not. I need a book like this, but covering OO and Java in depth. Java has been around for 4 years now: studies exist and one wishes that Jones had gethered them together and analyzed them for us. (Sigh!)
Book is excellent otherwise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most comprehensive books on software estimation techniques and supporting statistics in print. True, this book is deficient in object-oriented estimation, but that gap is filled by the definitive text on that subject, "Object-Oriented Design Measurement" ISBN 0471134171.
One thing the author is noted for is backing up assertions with statistics and data. This book is no exception. The full spectrum of estimation techniques is covered in great detail, and the scope of this book starts with background material on estimating, and then addresses all of the major techniques.
It is the scope of this book that makes it so valuable six years after publication. Techniques drawn from software project management, methods using coefficients and adjustment factors (i.e., COCOMO and Rayleigh Curve), and function points are covered in detail, as are other methods. In addition to software development estimating, the coverage extends to documentation estimating, and maintenance estimating - two areas not commonly addressed in the same detail and depth into which this book goes.
Weighing in at 700 plus pages this book is still applicable to most project and development environments, with the only outdated material related to tools and information resources. Most of the techniques cited are tried and true and will work in most contemporary environments and settings.
Despite some of the shortcomings noted above this book is an essential resource for project managers and SQA professionals who are involved in either the estimating process or tracking key performance metrics throughout application and system lifecycles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amara D. Angelica ( on August 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The software industry has an abysmal record of slipped schedules and cost overruns. With their fixed deadline, multimillion-dollar Y2K mitigation projects--the most complex in history--push the envelope of uncertainty and disaster.
Estimating Software Costs, just released from McGraw-Hill, should help. Written by T. Capers Jones, the pioneer and leading authority in the field, this 724-page book is the definitive encyclopedic reference and a must-read for every Y2K and IT project manager. It covers all aspects of the problem, including commercial software tools, handling excessive schedule pressure, international factors and contractual and legal concerns. Jones' lucid writing style makes this otherwise leaden subject come alive. END
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Lynch on February 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This second edition of the groundbreaking Estimating Software Costs is a must-have desk reference for every PM, program manager and estimation practitioner. It has been updated to include treatment of Agile methods (and other variants such as XP), OO development, UML, and CMMI. While IFPUG Function Points and Lines of Code are the still the leading measures of software size, Jones does provide data with respect to many of the emerging measures (story points, use case points, web object points, etc.)

The book is divided into six sections. Section 1 presents a basic introduction to software estimation, including a brief history, capability and value of commercial estimation tools. There is also a very nice discussion on the potential sources of estimation error.

Section 2 provides methods for generating early estimates and the danger that these will become accepted as THE estimate for the remainder of the project. Jones provides many simple rules of thumb for both classic size measures (Function Points and LOC) and emerging methods.

Section 3 talks about methods of measuring size of various software work products. Again, the predominate method discussed is IFPUG Function Points; however, Jones does address the more abstract and "experimental" size measure in use today.

Section 4 deals with the seven classes of influencing factors that drive project outcomes and how commercial estimation tools compensate for them. Jones concludes that industry averages for these factors should be discarded in favor of specific values from the performing organization. This reduces uncertainty and the political impacts.

Section 5 defines ten activities that are common to many projects for the purpose of accurately deriving a bottom-up estimate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an excelent textbook about software projects estimation. The only problem with the book is the lack of more examples to learn the techniques discussed by Jones.
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