The value of Cost Estimation
One of the key roles of an IT manager is to make decisions and deliver the required needs and business value within the available budget. To make decisions the manager needs the right level of information. For a software project, the required information consist of the scope (although not detailed yet), the budget (for a next iteration) and the duration.
The Cost Estimator is the professional who can provide this information in cooperation with a solution architect who understands the solution and the project manager who understands the delivery approach. Having a professional for the Cost Estimator role ensures that cost estimates become more structured and understandable, more realistic and accurate, and the delivery of expected scope and time-frame more predictable.
The question that comes up regularly is: “Does this mean additional overhead?” The answer is: “No”, a software delivery team already performs most of the required activities and provides the required information but because it’s not professionalized, the information is often not a sound basis for decision making. The delivery team remains responsible for the estimate, but the Cost Estimator manages the estimation process like a project manager or scrum master manages the delivery or a solution architect manages the solution architecting process.
ICEAA SW will promote the professionalization of Software Cost Estimation and the Software Cost Estimation Body of Knowledge – Software. Members of ICEAA and Nesma will automatically be a member of ICEAA SW.