Top Management Support for Software Cost Estimation: A Case Study of the Current Practice and Impacts

Jurka Rahikkala, Sami Hyrynsalmi, Ville Leppänen, Tommi Mikkonen, Johannes Holvitie

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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    Context: Despite of decades of research in software cost estimation (SCE), estimating the cost of software is difficult and software project overruns are common. Many researchers and practitioners agree that organisational issues and methodologies are equally important for successful SCE. Regardless of this recent development, SCE research is revolving heavily around methodologies. At the same time the project management research has undergone a major shift towards managerial issues, and found that top management support is even the most important success factor for projects.
    Goal: This study aims to shed light on top management’s role in SCE by identifying real-life practices for top management participation in SCE, as well as related organisational effects. Also, the impact of top management actions on project success is examined.
    Method: The study takes a qualitative and explorative case study based approach. In total, 18 semi-structured interviews aided the study of three projects in three organisations.
    Results: The results show that top management takes no, or very little, direct actions to participate in SCE. However, projects can conclude successfully regardless of the low extent of participation.
    Conclusions: Top management actions may also induce bias in estimation, influencing project success negatively. This implies that senior managers must recognise the importance of seeking realism and avoid influencing he estimation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProduct-Focused Software Process Improvement
    Subtitle of host publication18th International Conference, PROFES 2017, Innsbruck, Austria, November 29–December 1, 2017, Proceedings
    EditorsMichael Felderer, Daniel Méndez Fernández, Burak Turhan, Marcos Kalinowski, Federica Sarro, Dietmar Winkler
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-69925-7
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017
    Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
    EventInternational Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement -
    Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement
    Period1/01/00 → …

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1


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