Original Post Date: Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't reinvent the wheel.  It's a waste of time and effort.  All too often I see organizations establishing measurement programs or new software estimation intiatives and they want to build everything from the ground up.  Mistake, mistake, mistake...

People have gone before you.  Learn from them.  Take their ideas and go forward from there.  In the past year, I have architected the implemention of our software cost estimation tools at two large federal agencies and two DoD programs.  Teaching people how to estimate is easy.  Teaching them how to find the data to develop estimates is the hard part.  My solution?  I reused (plagerized?) the measurement framework from the Practical Software and Systems Measurement (PSM) initiative.  This let us use a commercial off the shelf solution to estimate and an industry-based best practice approach to collect data to feed into the estimation technology.  The combination saved us several person years and many months of calendar time.  Our off the shelf approach made our clients very happy.  So, that's today's candy.  What do you think?  Tell me how you've saved time and money in your estimating practices