Effort Estimation in Agile Software Development: The State of the Practice in Colombia

  • Diana Gomez Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Juan Cubillos Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Jairo Aponte Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Edwar Rojas Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Effort estimation is fundamental for developing software projects and critical for their success. This paper focuses on how Colombian agile practitioners perform effort estimates in agile projects. For this purpose, we conducted an exploratory survey study that involved 60 respondents. The main findings are the following: (1) Agile practitioners prefer estimation techniques based on Expert Judgement. (2) Most of the respondents perceive that their estimates have a medium accuracy level. (3) The determining effort drivers are features of the project team and the software to be built. (4) The use of datasets for estimation is not common. (5) Most of the results of related studies are similar to ours, with differences in terms of the roles involved and the techniques used.

Palavras-chave: Agile Software Development, Software Development Effort Estimation, Estimation Techniques, Software Measurement, Software Project Management, Empirical Study


M. Chemuturi, 2009.Software Estimation Best Practices Tools & Techniques, Broward-Florida, J. Ross Publishing.

J. Wen, S. Li, Z. Lin, Y. Hu, and C. Huang, “Systematic Literature Review of Machine Learning Based Software Development Effort Estimation Models,” Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 41–59, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2011.09.002

A. Trendowicz, 2014, Software Project Effort Estimation. Berlin, Germany, Springer-Verlag.

O. Malgonde and K. Chari, “An Ensemble-Based Model for Predicting Agile Software Development Effort,” Empirical. Software. Engineering., vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 1017–1055, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10664-018-9647-0

M. Fernandez-Diego, E. R. Mendez, F. Gonzalez-Ladron-De-Guevara, S. Abrahao, and E. Insfran, “An Update on Effort Estimation in Agile Software Development: A Systematic Literature Review,” IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 166768–166800, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3021664

PMI, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 6th ed. Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA: Project Management Institute, 2017.

K. Moløkken and M. Jørgensen, “A review of software surveys on software effort estimation,” in Proceedings - 2003 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering, ISESE 2003, 2003, pp. 223–230.

T. Vera, S. F. Ochoa, and D. Perovich, “Survey of Software Development Effort Estimation Taxonomies,” no. March, 2018.

A. Saeed, W. H. Butt, F. Kazmi, and M. Arif, “Survey of software development effort estimation techniques,” in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2018, pp. 82–86.

M. Usman, E. Mendes, and J. Börstler, “Effort Estimation in Agile Software Development: A Survey on the State of the Practice,” in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2015, vol. 27-29-Apri, p. 10. https://doi.org/10.1145/2745802.2745813

T. Vera, S. F. Ochoa, and D. Perovich, “Understanding the Software Development Effort Estimation in Chilean Small,” 2018.

Z. Prokopova, P. Silhavy, and R. Silhavy, Analysis of the Software Project Estimation Process: A Case Study, vol. 984. Springer International Publishing, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-19807-744

M. A. Ramessur and S. D. Nagowah, “Factors Affecting Sprint Effort Estimation,” Adv. Intell. Syst. Comput., vol. 1089, no. January, pp. 507–518, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-1483-8_43

L. Madeyski and M. Majchrzak, “Factors influencing User Story estimations: an industrial interview and a conceptual model,” Cent. East. Eur. J. Manag. Econ., vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 261–280, 2016.

P. Abrahamsson, I. Fronza, R. Moser, J. Vlasenko, and W. Pedrycz, “Predicting Development Effort from User Stories,” Int. Symp. Empirical Software Engineering. Meas., pp. 400–403, 2011. https://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/ESEM.2011.58

V. Mahnič and T. Hovelja, “On Using Planning Poker for Estimating User Stories,” J. Syst. Softw., vol. 85, no. 9, pp. 2086–2095, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2012.04.005

N. C. Haugen, “An Empirical Study of Using Planning Poker for User Story Estimation,” Proc. - Agil. Conf. 2006, vol. 2006, pp. 23–31, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1109/AGILE.2006.16

J. Linaker, S. M. Sulaman, R. Maiani de Mello and M. Host, ”Guidelines for Conducting Surveys in Software Engineering,” Department of Computer Science, Lund University, 2015.

M. Usman, E. Mendes, F. Weidt, and R. Britto, “Effort Estimation in Agile Software Development: A systematic literature review,” in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2014, pp. 82–91. https://doi.org/10.1145/2639490.2639503

M. Saunders, P. Lewis, and A. Thornhill, Research Methods For Business Students, 8th ed. Pearson Education, 2019.

“Survey Translation” 2022. [Online]. Available: http://itjmca.com/UN/Paper2/Survey.pdf

JASP Team. (2022). JASP (Version 0.16.4)[Computer software]. Retrieved from https://jasp-stats.org/
Como Citar

Selecione um Formato
GOMEZ, Diana; CUBILLOS, Juan; APONTE, Jairo; ROJAS, Edwar. Effort Estimation in Agile Software Development: The State of the Practice in Colombia. In: CONGRESSO IBERO-AMERICANO EM ENGENHARIA DE SOFTWARE (CIBSE), 26. , 2023, Montevideo, Uruguai. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2023 . p. 1-15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5753/cibse.2023.24689.