|Title||Communication of Software Cost Estimates|
|Afilliation||Software Engineering, Software Engineering|
|Publication Type||Proceedings, refereed|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Conference Name||Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering|
The meaning of an effort or cost estimate should be understood and communicated consistently and clearly to avoid planning and budgeting mistakes. Results from two studies, one of 42 software companies and one of 423 individual software developers, suggest that this is far from being the case. In both studies we found a large variety in what was meant by an effort estimate and that the meaning was frequently not communicated. To improve the planning and budgeting of software projects we recommend that the meaning of effort estimates is understood and communicated using a probability-based terminology.