Estimation of effort and costs based on the CoBRA® approach

Cost Estimation, Benchmarking, and Risk Assessment

Companies must be able to realistically budget and plan their software development projects. Since projects are typically afflicted with great uncertainties, there are planning risks right from the start. This is why it is important to be able to monitor cost-related risks and, if necessary, implement adequate countermeasures. Since not all products are the same, it is important to identify particularly those factors (cost drivers) that have a positive resp. negative impact on the productivity of a development project. The use of appropriate cost estimation approaches thus not only contributes to precise project planning and successful risk management; by enabling cost drivers to be mastered, it also leads to better processes and improves the overall maturity of the organization.

Goal of the seminar

This 2-day seminar teaches the basics of systematic effort estimation according to the CoBRA® approach for the development of risk-based effort estimation models. The approach is based on the knowledge of experienced project managers as well as on existing project data. Thanks to the systematic use of expert knowledge, CoBRA® (with its corresponding tool support CoBRIX) can even be used in situations where only very few data about completed projects are available in an organization.

Project managers and planners learn to create their own estimation models and to perform systematic effort estimation and risk management. In addition, the basics of functional software size measurement using the IFPUG Function Points approach as well as productivity measurement in the context of effort estimation are presented.

Content of the seminar

Fundamentals of cost and effort estimation

  • Why estimate effort and costs?
  • Frequent mistakes made in practice
  • Overview of estimation approaches (Delphi, CoCoMo, CART, Regression)
  • Which approach in which situation?

Functional software size measurement

  • Fundamentals of the Function Points method
  • IFPUG Function Points & COSMIC FFP
  • FP versus LOC
  • Productivity measurement

The CoBRA® approach

  • Development of the estimation model
  • Effort estimation
  • Risk management
  • Benchmarking
  • Deployment and maintenance

Exercise: the CoBRIX Tool


  • CoBRA®: Pros and Cons
  • Costs of effort estimation
  • Success factors