Practical Software Estimation Measurement

Performance Benchmarking Tables

QSM consultant Paul Below has posted some quick performance benchmarking tables for IT, engineering class, and real time software.

The tables contain average values for the following metrics at various size increments:

Schedule (months)

Effort (Person Months)

Average Staff (FTE)

Mean Time to Defect (Days)


Two insights that jump out right away:

1. Application complexity is a big productivity driver. IT (Business) software solves relatively straightforward and well understood problems. As algorithmic complexity increases, average duration, effort, team size increase rapidly when compared to IT systems of the same size.

2. Small teams and small projects produce fewer defects. Projects over 100 effective (new and modified) source lines of code all averaged Mean Times to Defect of under one day. We see this over and over again in the QSM database: small projects with small teams consistently produce higher reliability at delivery.

Blog Post Categories