Fuzzy Rules for Risk Assessment and Contingency Estimation within COCOMO Software Project Planning Model
Software development can be considered to be a most uncertain project when compared to other projects due to uncertainty in the customer requirements, the complexity of the process, and the intangible nature of the product. In order to increase the chance of success in managing a software project, the project manager(s) must invest more time and effort in the project planning phase, which involves such primary and integrated activities as effort estimation and risk management, because the accuracy of the effort estimation is highly dependent on the size and number of project risks in a particular software project. However, as is common practice, these two activities are often disconnected from each other and project managers have come to consider such steps to be unreliable due to their lack of accuracy. This chapter introduces the Fuzzy-ExCOM Model, which is used for software project planning and is based on fuzzy technique. It has the capability to not only integrate the effort estimation and risk assessment activities but also to provide information about the estimated effort, the project risks, and the effort contingency allowance necessary to accommodate the identified risk. A validation of this model using the project’s research data shows that this new approach is capable of improving the existing COCOMO estimation performance.