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Orange Effort Estimation for Software Development
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After years working in IT sector, mainly as PM, I have realized that

1. All software development organizations face the challenge of effort estimation

2. After searching the web I haven’t found a tool that could offer most of the methods for effort estimation

3. Some tools available cover just one method, are not web-based and many of them seem to be outdated

4. I couldn't find a tool that has the ability to feed itself from community effort estimations and, at the same time, to be able to use organization specific characteristics and data.

So, I have decided to build this tool trying to cover the above needs. After a lot of reading, research and a few thousands lines of code here is my software development tool :)

Basic Tool Design

The tool is web-based, therefore it can be used from anywhere with a web browser. There is a server part and a client side. All calculations and data are performed/stored in one central server/database. The client communicates using SOAP web services. The client side code is available, as open source, to everyone to download.

The client file has been built with PHP; all code is in one single php file. This makes the tool easy to share and integrate in various CMS or WEB systems.

Users can modify the client file to give their own feel and look and still have access to calculation file and database.

How it Works

This tool enables software development effort estimation using 5 different methods. All industry standard methods are used.

This is a model for effort estimation. The use of the model enables effort estimation from non-experts (e.g. not developers).

This is an effort estimation method based on expert judgment. Two options are available: Delphic Oracle and Three Point Estimation.

This method tries to find analogies and/or compares the project to be estimated with stored projects.

Finally, I have included a custom modular estimation method. Using this method you can use prior efforts estimations for small modules/pieces of work that can be found in most projects in order to create complicated project estimation.

The tool can be feeded with custom modules estimations for use in future project estimations and, also, allow the feeding of data for analogy/comparison effort estimations.

How To use

With you ID you can save and edit your estimations. I have added a lot of comments for most fields in order to help you. The tool based on data entered can use all methods and give a combined estimation or use any combination, even just one of them to provide effort estimation.

Based on the data entered and the findings the tool will use the methods available. In addition, some basic suggestions are available in case the actual effort is available to help for better effort estimation.


Some models have been simplified at some points to make the tool easier to use without compromising flexibility and accuracy, at least not a lot.

All data are stored in a public database, thus avoiding storing sensitive information, e.g. customer names.

Well, that's all from me. You can send your feedback use support forum or contact me from my website.

Happy effort estimating!

Spyros Ktenas

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This tool is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Moreover, we reserve the right to revise /modify this tool and to make changes periodically without obligation to notify any person or organization of such revision or changes.

About Effort Estimation Tool - Literature | TECOrange