Model Based Estimation and Tracking Method for Agile Software Project

Model Based Estimation and Tracking Method for Agile Software Project

Sungjoo Kang (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Korea), Okjoo Choi (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea) and Jongmoon Baik (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/jhcitp.2012040101
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Abstract

In this paper, the authors propose a software cost estimation model for agile software development project which can help estimate concrete development costs for the desired features of a product and tracks the project progress dynamically. In general, cost estimation methods for agile developments used a story point. Because it is relative value, the estimation results tend to be easily fluctuated by the small variation of the base story point. To estimate the effort of a project development, the authors use function points in addition to the story point. The function points are determined based on the desired features of the project. The authors adopt the Kalman filter algorithm for tracking project progress. The daily variation of the function point is observed and inputted to the Kalman Filter for providing concrete estimation and velocity. The authors then validate the better performance of our model by comparing with traditional methods through a case study.
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2. Agile Software Project

A. Agile Planning

Plans help us know if a project is on track at to deliver the functionality that user need and expect. Planning is also a critical task to lead for the success of any software development project. Especially in agile software developments, it is necessary to iteratively estimate effort and refine the plan. Agile planning activities (Figure 1) for large-scale development should rely on multiple levels (Smits, 2011).

Figure 1.

Agile planning activities

However, most agile teams achieve a progressive elaboration by planning only the three innermost levels of agile planning: Release, Iteration, and Day. At the beginning of an agile project, a project team sets the scope of the system and the desired features which has a story (Cohn, 2006). In an agile project, story points are measured to estimate the volume of the product for each story and velocity is the amount of story point and measured to estimate the working capability of a team.

B. Story Point

In terms of cost metrics for an agile project, story points are widely used. These are a metric that represents the size of task or features. At the beginning of an agile project, a project team sets the scope of the system and the desired features. For a project team that develops a web site for a travel business, for example, with 50 desired features, each feature has a user story, such as “cancellation information is displayed on the site and is emailed to the user.” In an agile project, the story points are measured to estimate the size of the work for each user story. Moreover, the total value for the story point is calculated by summarization of the story points of all features to manage the entire development effort. In contrast to other types of point metrics which are absolute values, story points are relative. Given a story point of feature A of 5, if we guess that an effort for developing feature B costs twice as much, the story point of feature B is 10. As a result, it becomes possible to calculate the overall story points of 50 desired features.

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