Major cost categories for a rough-order-magnitude cost model for multimedia computer-based training
Stacey Allison Franklin, The George Washington University, United States
The George Washington University . Awarded
Review of computer science literature published as early as the late 1970's indicates that accurately predicting the cost of software development has been a monumental challenge to the industry. It seems that just when the cost experts had begun to get their arms around estimating effort, there emerged a whole new class of development environments and hence a whole new set of parameters to consider in development cost projection.
Recent work in Multimedia Computer-based Training (CBT) cost modeling involves detailed measurement and estimation of numerous variable factors, some of which may not be known prior to design, to produce an accurate cost projection. However, it can be argued that a high level, rough-order-magnitude (ROM) estimation model may be constructed that yields reasonably accurate projections. Furthermore, that such a model may be perceived as a tool for the practitioner in that it requires: (1) a reasonably short time to compute and estimate, and (2) knowledge of characteristics of the Multimedia CBT system which are generally known, predictable and reasonably quantifiable prior to the start of development.
The purpose of this research was to begin to explore the existence of a bounded set of cost categories which characterize development of Multimedia CBT and are generally known, predictable and reasonably quantifiable prior to the start of development.
Technical references and observations during mini-case studies were used to derive a starter set of cost factors with the potential for major cost influence. Findings of a formal expert opinion survey of Multimedia Computer-Based Training developers and customers, and post facto data collection and analysis, supported the existence of a bounded set of seven Multimedia CBT development cost categories: Instructional Design, Subject Content, Volume, Software Engineering Process, Development Environment, Customer Characteristics and Development Team Characteristics. According to the experts, the cost factor categories represented over 90% of the cost to develop multimedia computer-based training systems.
Franklin, S.A. Major cost categories for a rough-order-magnitude cost model for multimedia computer-based training. Ph.D. thesis, The George Washington University.
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