I am personally involved with software development estimation on almost a daily basis. It’s a huge challenge that me and my team face. We give the best possible expert opinion we can, and we often work with limited and fluctuating information. We’ve learned a lot about estimating well, and we have a repeatable framework and guidelines established (which at their core rely on expert opinion).
Given my experiences with software estimation, I believe that if you are involved with estimating software development projects, then you should read this new article from IEEE. It very clearly and succinctly discusses the challenges and what we can do about them with respect to software estimation. The bottom line is: it’s hard and we as an industry still aren’t great at it. But we know what things we can do to make it better and we are working to continually improve.
If you aren’t doing some of the things that the article discusses, start doing them. If you need help understanding these things – reach out to me – find me on Twitter or LinkedIn – I’d be happy to talk with you!