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Assumptions

Several assumptions are inherent in the COCOMO formulas. Delivered source instructions include all (noncomment) lines of computer-processed code. The development life cycle starts at the beginning of product design and ends with acceptance test at the conclusion of the integration and test phase. (The requirements analysis effort and schedule are estimated separately as an additional percentage of the development estimate.) The activities include only direct-charged project efforts and exclude typical overhead activities such as administrative support, facilities, and capital equipment. A staff-month consists of 152 hours. The project will be well managed. The project will experience stable requirements.

Life-Cycle Description

The COCOMO life cycle includes five basic phases: plans and requirements, product design, detailed design, code and unit test, and integration and test. COCOMO provides recommendations for distributing the effort and schedule across the basic phases of the conventional waterfall model. These recommendations vary somewhat with mode and scale; Table B-2 provides a typical profile for a large, embedded mode project. COCOMO estimates the effort and schedule to develop the solution (product design through integration and test). Formulating the problem (plans and requirements) is estimated as an additional percentage over and above the development effort and schedule.

Software Work Breakdown Structure

Most conventional work breakdown structures are organized around the product subsystems at the higher levels and around the detailed activities at the lower levels. The standard activities estimated by COCOMO and included in the software WBS are requirements analysis, product design, programming, test planning, verification and validation, project office functions (management and administration), configuration management and quality assurance, and manuals. COCOMO also recommends

Table B-2. Effort and schedule partition across conventional life-cycle phases
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