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I work for a software company that produces products for businesses. Our
first product, for example, was a human resources package that tracks
applicants and employees, etc etc.
We are now planning to put more emphasis on customizing our products. As
we make this move, we are putting more emphasis on planning and scheduling
(something we haven't done too much of to this point), so we can make the
quotes on the customizations more accurate.
Anyway, my boss now wants me to see if I can find some sort of "multiplier"
that will give them an instantaneous idea of how much time will be required
to document the customized versions of our product, based on the number of
hours the developers estimate the coding will take. The QA department
folks (bless their anal souls!) were able to come up with this number: now
I have to, too.
Have any of you heard of such a beast? Does it work? Do you use one
multiplier for products that are completely new, and another for those that
are only modifications to existing products? How do you estimate the hours
required for a project? I am very uneasy about this..!