A cost estimate is considered to have a high impact on software project success. Because of this, different methodologies for creating an accurate estimate have been studied over decades. Many methodologies produce accurate results, when used properly. However, software projects still suffer from inaccurate estimates. The disparity may result from organisational hindrances. This paper focuses on top management support (TMS) for software cost estimation (SCE). The purpose of this paper is to identify current practices and attitudes of top management involvement in SCE, and to analyse the relationship between these two and project success.
A list of 16 TMS practices for SCE has been developed. A survey was conducted to capture the frequency of use and the experienced importance of support practices. Data has been collected from 114 software professionals in Finland. Correlations between the frequency of use, attitudes and project success were analysed.
Top management invests a significant amount of attention in SCE. The extent of use and experienced importance do not correlate strongly with each other or project success.
The results may lack generalisability. Researchers are encouraged to validate the results with further studies.
Software professionals invite senior managers to participate in SCE. A list of practices for participating is provided.
This paper suggests a list of 16 TMS practices for SCE. The paper also reports on the extent of use and experienced importance of practices, and the correlations between these two and project success.
The authors thank Digile Oy and PMI Finland chapter for providing mailing lists for the survey. Thanks also go to the whole Vaadin team for numerous valuable comments and suggestions.
Rahikkala, J., Leppänen, V., Ruohonen, J. and Holvitie, J. (2015), "Top management support in software cost estimation: A study of attitudes and practice in Finland", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 513-532. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-11-2014-0076Download as .RIS
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