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Seminars • Software Estimation • Reno, NV

Software Estimation • Reno, NV

Attend a Software Estimation course in the RENO area:

Add OnSite PMP Exam Prep Course Request an on-site course, or a course in your city.
 Please note that empty course dates may shift based on demand. 
 This course is worth 18 PDU's.
 PMI Reporting Instructions

Course Guide

Download our course brochure containing descriptions of our seminar offerings.

Attendee Reviews

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Course Overview

Software estimation has been described as a Wicked Problem. Estimating timelines and effort for thousands of untried logical combinations is challenging enough--add to that external scope creep, project and architectural risks, ambiguous requirements, unexpected team attrition, non rolled-throughput code yield and suddenly the unassuming estimator may become the next political scape goat. 

Fortunately, effective practices exist today that provide relatively accurate estimates as a software project progresses. Register for our course to learn about the five types of software estimates, how to perform formal and informal estimating, and how to improve individual and team estimates using internal historical data. Our course is hands-on guiding attendees through many real-world estimation worksheet activities.


  • Learn about the risks associated with estimating software schedules and effort levels
  • Learn to describe the 'cone of uncertainty'
  • Learn about the five types of software estimates, and why each one is important
  • Learn informal top-down/bottom-up, and formal estimation techniques
  • Learn to forecast software sizes using Fuzzy Logic and T-Shirt Sizing techniques
  • Learn to estimate software sizes using the decomposition techniques of Analogy,
    Expert Judgment, Wide-Band Delphi, and Planning Poker
  • Learn to estimate sizes with Function Point Analysis methods (IFPUG, NESMA,
  • Learn to estimate software project duration using COCOMO II
  • Learn to estimate software project duration using Putnam's Model
  • Learn to estimate software projects size using COSMIC-FFP
  • Learn to lower the risk of estimation error
  • Learn to improve project tracking with control estimates
  • Learn to estimate remaining defect levels in candidate software releases
  • Learn to estimate which software development phases are most and least
    efficient in finding defects.
  • Learn to calculate your organizations Process Productivity and Manpower Buildup
    indexes (Putnam)
  • Learn to create a project control chart (Burnup Chart)
  • Learn to create a department or company-wide software estimation procedure
  • Learn to create a software estimation results 'historical log' for the department and for individuals

Software Estimation Course Overview


Our course contains the following program:

Part I - The Challenge of Estimating Software Accurately

  • How good of an estimator are you?
  • Industry Studies on Software Estimation
  • Common Estimation Challenges
  • Software Estimation as a Wicked Problem
  • Navigating the Wicked Problem

Part II - Business Benefits from Estimating Software Accurately

  • The Business Value of a Good Software Estimate
  • Ingredients for a Good Estimate
  • Estimation Sanity Check
  • Your Last Project Estimate....

Part III - Understanding Software Estimation

  • The Six Types of Software Estimates
  • Why more than one estimate?
  • Estimation and the Cone of Uncertainty
  • The Estimation Formula: Size > Effort > Schedule, Cost, & Optimum Team Size

Part IV - Estimating Size & Effort: Informal Methods

  • Top Down: Fuzzy Logic
  • Top Down: T-Shirt Sizing
  • Bottom Up: Decomposition
  • Bottom Up: Analogy
  • Group Based: Wide-band Delphi
  • Group Based: Planning Poker

Part V - Estimating Size & Effort: Formal Methods

  • Function Point Analysis - IFPUG
  • Function Point Analysis - NESMA
  • Function Point Analysis - SEER-SEM
  • Function Point Analysis - 3D Method
  • Function Point Analysis - MkII
  • Function Point Summary

Part VI - Estimating Size & Schedule: COCOMO II

  • Calculating a Size Forecast
  • Calculating a Size Baseline
  • COCOMO II Project Scaling Factors
  • COCOMO II Project Effort Multipliers
  • COCOMO II Summary

Part VII - Estimating Size, Schedule & Cost: Putnam Method

  • What's a Rayleigh Distribution?
  • The Manpower Buildup Index (BMI)
  • The Productivity Parameter
  • Calculating Cost @ Minimum Possible Schedule
  • Calculating Cost @ Maximum Practical Schedule
  • Calculating Cost @ Desired Schedule
  • Calculating Schedule Impossible Zone
  • Calculating Schedule Impractical Zone
  • Rayleigh Distribution Dynamics
  • Schedule Compression Cost Tradeoff's
  • Effects of Team Size on Schedule
  • Putnam Method Summary

PART IIX - Estimating Size with COSMIC-FFP

  • COSMIC-FFP Overview
  • End-user Measurement Viewpoint
  • Developer Measurement Viewpoint
  • IFPUG to COSMIC-FFP Comparison

Part IX - Given Size, Additional Ways to Calculate Schedule and Cost

  • Deriving Calendar months from Staff Months
  • Calculating Staff Months from SLOC
  • Calculating Staff Months from Function Points
  • Calculating Staff Months from ISBSG Data Points
  • Calculating Staff Months from Jones First-Order Method
  • Administrative Effort Modifiers
  • Collocation Effort Modifiers
  • Diseconomies of Scale

Part X - Software Defect Estimation

  • Defect Terminology
  • Estimating remaining defects in tested code - Putnam
  • Estimating remaining defects in tested code - Defect Insertion

Part XI - Managing Risks with Software Estimation

  • Lowering the Risk of Inaccurate Estimates
  • Estimation Convergence
  • PERT Averaging
  • Risk Identification
  • Risk Analysis
  • Risk Prioritization
  • Risk Contingency Planning
  • Risk Schedule Impact Adjustment

Part XII - Managing After the Baseline: Control Estimates

  • Four Factors that Impact Schedule Accuracy
  • Control Estimates
  • Managing Scope Creep
  • Managing Velocity
  • Managing Stakeholder Expectations
  • Reporting Estimate Accuracy

Part XIII - Managing Up

  • Educating Your Management Team
  • Estimation Games
  • When not to Estimate
  • How to Defend an Estimate
  • How to Shorten a Schedule
  • What to do when the Schedule is Slipping
  • What not to do when the Schedule is Slipping

Part IVX - Estimation Process Improvement

  • Establishing Your Standard Estimation Procedure
  • Estimation Tools

Software Estimation Activities

Attendees perform the following: 
  • Estimation Sanity Check
  • Estimation and the Cone of Uncertainty - worksheet
  • Software Forecast exercise
  • Fuzzy Logic Software Forecast exercise
  • T-shirt Sizing
  • Software Forecast exercise
  • Analogy Software Baseline Estimate exercise: Wide-band delphi (decomposition)
  • Software Baseline Estimate exercise: Planning Poker (decomposition)
  • Software Baseline Estimate exercise: Function Point Analysis (IFPUG)
  • iEEE Lines of Code counting sheet examination
  • Function Points to Lines of Code Conversion Chart
  • Software Baseline Estimate exercise: Function Point Analysis (NESMA)
  • Software Forecast exercise COCOMO II (Early Design Stage)
  • Software Baseline Estimation exercise: COCOMO II (Post Architectural Stage)
  • Putnam Method exercise
  • Calibrating Process Productivity and Manpower Buildup Indexes
  • Software Baseline Estimation exercise Putnam Method
  • Create a Change Control agenda
  • Create a Project Control Chart: Burnup Chart
  • Create a Software Estimation Historical Log
    Create a Software Estimation Procedure
  • Create Seminar Takeaway List
  • Create a Back-to-work Plan


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I remember my grandmother explaining what it was like to teach grade-school.  She said to be a good teacher, you had to be part teacher, part nurse, part referee, part coach, part police officer, part mother, and part collections agent. Fortunately, software development management requires a smaller skill-set.  Software Development Managers really have four areas of responsibility.  […]

Corporate Strategy Planning Simplified (10/30/2007)
What is Corporate Strategy and how do we deconstruct it?  Corporate Strategy can be simplified into two drivers:  Top-line and Bottom-line.  Top line is your gross revenue, and bottom line is what it costs you to obtain that gross revenue. Think about these as numerator and denominator drivers.  Together they make a formula that looks something like: Yield(Investment)  x […]

Why should Corporate Strategy be important to us in Development? (10/30/2007)
We code, right!?  We code, and play Warcraft.  Why should we know or care about corporate strategy? Well, the answer is that most programmers probably don’t really know what their organization’s corporate strategy is.  If you do, you likely have an outstanding manager who has learned that part of their responsibility as a manager is to […]

What is Software Portfolio Management? (10/29/2007)
What is Software Portfolio Management, or SPM?  They never taught us about this in college.  This is when you are reading your email in the morning from an unhappy customer who wants new feature X when suddenly your phone rings and the VP of Sales wants to know when you will have an install ready […]

Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management (10/29/2007)
I just bought a new book on Portfolio Management called Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy, by Anand Sanwal (Wiley Press). To my amazement, the forward commentary is by Gary Crittenden, a long-time friend of mine.  Gary and I lived near eachother in Munich, Germany years ago.  I believe my girlfriend […]

Red Rock Research (10/29/2007)
This is my first post for RRR.  I’ve started this site because I feel like it’s time to start giving back to the IT community.  Lots of the information found on these pages I wish were made available to me years ago.  Probably there are software development managers out there just starting out that are […]

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