Info

wbs element

default budget

Management

10%

Environment

10%

Requirements

10%

Design

15%

Implementation

25%

Assessment

25%

Deployment

5%

Total

100%

schedule, and an initial WBS with task budgets and schedules is relatively straightforward. This sort of top-down plan development is a useful planning exercise that should result in a baseline for further elaboration.

What is the source of the data in Table 10-1 and Table 10-2? Unfortunately, it is not a data bank of well-documented case studies of numerous successful projects that followed a modern software process. These data came mostly from my own experience, including involvement with software cost estimation efforts over the past decade that spanned a broad range of software projects, organizations, processes, and technologies.

Table 10-1 provides default allocations for budgeted costs of each first-level WBS element. While these values are certain to vary across projects, this allocation provides a good benchmark for assessing the plan by understanding the rationale for deviations from these guidelines. An important point here is that this is cost allocation, not effort allocation. To avoid misinterpretation, two explanations are necessary.

1. The cost of different labor categories is inherent in these numbers. For example, the management, requirements, and design elements tend to use more personnel who are senior and more highly paid than the other elements use. If requirements and design together consume 25% of the budget

Table 10-2. Default distributions of effort and schedule by phase

domain

inception

elaboration

construction

transition

Effort

5%

20%

65%

10%

Schedule

10%

30%

50%

10%

(employing people with an average salary of $100/hour), this sum may represent half as many staff hours as the assessment element, which also accounts for 25% of the budget but employs personnel with an average salary of $50/hour.

2. The cost of hardware and software assets that support the process automation and development teams is also included in the environment element.

Table 10-2 provides guidelines for allocating effort and schedule across the life-cycle phases. Although these values can also vary widely, depending on the specific constraints of an application, they provide an average expectation across a spectrum of application domains. Achieving consistency using these specific values is not as important as understanding why your project may be different.

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