Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge – Software

The new Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge-Software (CEBoK-S) is here!

As a cost professional, understanding software cost estimation is increasingly critical, as software is an ever-increasing portion of total systems cost. ICEAA observed an opportunity to expand our Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge (CEBoK®) to provide the community with software estimating training that will compliment and enhance cost estimates and analyses: the Cost Estimating Body of Knowledge-Software, or CEBoK-S.

CEBoK-S has been cultivated to provide guidance on the essential considerations in software cost estimating, factually and objectively demonstrating all software sizing methods, and allowing users to draw their own conclusions about the merits of any given method. The curriculum is a how-to for undertaking software estimates regarding development effort and cost, sustainment and maintenance, and comparing procured solutions vs. commercial off-the-shelf software, as well as a guide for reviewing another party’s software size, development costs, and sustainment and maintenance schedules.

CEBoK-S builds upon the cost estimating best practices outlined in CEBoK by tailoring lessons on core cost estimating tenets like maturity models, risk, uncertainty, data analysis, and data normalization to the specific uses and applications when estimating software.

All ten CEBoK-S lessons are at the ICEAA store, available for purchase in PDF format as a full-curriculum package:

Along with this new curriculum, ICEAA has also added a new credential to our certification offerings: the Software Cost Estimator Certification, or SCEC. This certification, like the PCEA® and CCEA®, distinguishes professionals committed to excellence and demonstrates mastery of the elements of a successful software cost estimate.

Starting January 1, 2024, all individuals interested in sitting for the SCEC exam will be required to purchase or show proof of having purchased the CEBoK-S training material.

CEBoK-S was being developed to appeal to a broad international audience and be applicable to software cost estimators globally, including individuals from a variety of organization types, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); prime contractors & subcontractors for defense, intelligence and civil agency projects; consulting firms; commercial organizations; commercial IT companies; IT departments of banks, insurance companies, etc.; government and quasi-government organizations; and academic institutions.

ICEAA partnered with the U.S. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) to use their existing course materials, known as BCF-250: Software Cost Estimating, as one of the foundations for CEBoK-S. Additional content was derived from the software cost estimating training modules that were developed by a coordinated effort between ICEAA, Nesma, IFPUG, and other organizations between 2015 and 2019, and other relevant sources.

CEBoK-S is intended to:

  • Appeal to the broad audience outlined above, with particular attention given to ensuring the content is independent and unbiased towards or focused on any particular country or governmental agency; and,
  • Provide the user, whose background and expertise is based in cost estimating and analysis, with an understanding of software estimating that will complement and enhance their cost estimates and analyses.

CEBoK-S will NOT:

  • Endorse any method of software sizing as superior or inferior to another. Any references to software sizing methods will be objective, presented factually to enable the audience members to draw their own conclusions about the situational merits of any given method;
  • Introduce the basic concepts of cost estimating to an unfamiliar audience; (it WILL extend the concepts addressed in CEBoK® to software cost estimating); or
  • Prescribe, but rather provide guidance for essential considerations in software cost estimating

ICEAA has formed the ICEAA CEBoK-S Review Group (ISRG), to provide feedback, insights, constructive criticism, and input to the ongoing review and direction to CEBoK-S development. Lead by Carol Dekkers of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., the ISRG is a specifically chosen group of ICEAA members with subject matter expertise in software cost estimating that represent a cross-section of industries, nationalities, and specialties:

Rick Collins – ICEAA Board of Directors
Kevin Cincotta – ICEAA Certification Principal
Daniel B. French – Cobec Consulting, Inc.
Jennifer Kirchhoffer – Tecolote Research, Inc.
Arlene Minkiewicz – PRICE Systems, LLC
Denise Nelson – The Boeing Company
Sanathanan Rajagopal – QinetiQ, Ltd and SCAF
Kellie Benefiel – ICEAA Board of Directors
Christian Smart – Galorath Federal
Eric van der Vliet – CGI
Harold van Heeringen – Nesma
Megan Jones – ICEAA Executive Director (ex-officio member)