The Uncertainty Surrounding the Cone of Uncertainty

Todd Little, Landmark Graphics Corporation

Barry Boehm first defined the "Cone of Uncertainty" of software estimation more than twenty-five years ago. The fundamental aspect of the cone is quite intuitive-that project uncertainty decreases as you discover more during the project. Todd Little takes an in-depth look into some of the dynamics of software estimation and questions some of the more common interpretations of the meaning of the "cone." Todd presents surprising data from more than one hundred "for market" software projects developed by a market-leading software company. He compares their data with other published industry data. Discover the patterns of software estimation accuracy Todd found, some of which go against common industry beliefs. Understanding the bounds of uncertainty and patterns from past projects help us plan for and manage the uncertainties we are sure to encounter. Take back a collection of measures and metrics you can use to track and analyze uncertainty in your current and next project.

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