Event: Charles Symons – How can Requirements Engineers help project estimators?


Presentation slides now available for download below:

Slides: Charles Symons – How can Requirements Engineers help project estimators?


Wednesday 11th March 2015, 6pm – 8:00pm


BCS headquarter, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA


Register for this event

Closing date for bookings is Monday 9 March 2015 at 11:59pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date. For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

Talk Abstract

Poor and shifting requirements for software-intensive system projects, resulting in poor estimates, are widely recognised as one of the major causes that contribute to the poor track record of delivering these projects to time and budget.

Most such projects need a cost estimate of some sort early in their life. Requirements Engineers should therefore understand how project effort and duration estimation works and what Estimators look for in requirements so that they can do their job.

Charles Symons will describe estimating processes from the use of SLOC and function points to measure requirements as a basis for project estimating, to more modern methods of measuring functional requirements and accounting for non-functional requirements, including automatic measurement of functional requirements.

He will then discuss various RE methods, e.g. Use Cases, EARS, User Stories, etc. and will show how well or otherwise they map to these measurement methods at various stages in the project life-cycle. In doing this he will demonstrate some ways in which being able to measure requirements can contribute to improving their quality.

Speaker’s Bio

Charles Symons has well over 50 years experience in the use of computers for business and scientific purposes, in both public and private sectors, in all the major disciplines of the Information Systems function.  He has published original work in computer use accounting, data analysis, computer security, and software measurement and estimating.  As a partner with KPMG management consulting, he led projects in many parts of the world to develop business-led IS strategies and to improve the performance of the IS function.

His interest in software project performance measurement, project estimating and benchmarking began in the 1980’s when he developed the MkII FP sizing and estimating methods which were recommended by the CCTA for use in Government computing.  He is now semi-retired but in 1998 he co-founded COSMIC, the Common Software Measurement International Consortium.  COSMIC is an informal grouping of software metrics experts that has developed an ISO standard method of measuring a functional size of business, real-time and infrastructure software, suitable for performance measurement and estimating, etc.   He is the Chair of the Measurement Practices Committee which maintains and enhances COSMIC methods.

Charles has used these methods to study the performance of suppliers of software services and is now working with others to advise on what steps the public sector should take to get more reliable delivery of systems to time and budget.

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