How much is that doggie in the window (arf! arf!)?

Asking what is the average cost of software development is equivalent to asking how much is the cost of the average dog.  The software industry is horrid at estimating and not good at asking questions either.   There is no magic to estimating software projects because the past is the best indicator of future performance.    The problem is most software organizations do not want to spend anytime at all gathering historical data or determining the size of its software projects (arf! arf!).

There is no such thing as an industry average for software development (roof! roof!)  There is no industry average for construction or manufacturing either.  Construction costs depend on whether the structure is residential or commercial and it depends if the structure is a retail center, office complex, a warehouse, so on and so forth.  One of the main ingredients in determining construction costs is the size of the structure.

The size of the software project is the largest factor in determining the cost.  Most software organizations just skip this step and decide they will figure it out as they go along.  The industry sector is a another driving factor.  Yes, the industry (arf! arf!).   Software costs are not constant across industries.  The cost to develop software for the healthcare industry is different than the insurance industry.  The cost for a dental office is not the same as the cost for real estate office.

Hence….

Software development organizations have no historical data to use  for estimating future projects.

Software development organizations have no idea, none whatsoever, of the size of its projects.

In the end most software developers just skip the two most important ingredients in estimating and just make up some number.   No wonder the software industry is horrid at estimating (roof! roof!).

So how much is that doggie in the window?  It depends on the type of dog and if it has a waggley tail (arf!, arf!)

www.rebootrethink.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AkLE4X-bbU

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