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A methodology for forecasting knowledge work projects. (English) Zbl 0973.90039

Summary: Forecasting project duration for knowledge workers is particularly difficult due to the complexity and variability of their work. This study examines prediction of software development completion times which has traditionally involved either software engineering techniques or purely judgmental forecasts by lead analysts or project managers. In practice, neither approach has achieved much success in forecasting software project duration. This paper proposes a neural network model to modeling software project overruns. Actual software project management data, obtained for a regional grocery chain, were used to develop and test the neural network model as well as a traditional regression model for forecasting project overruns. Comparisons between the forecasts and the actual project overruns revealed that the neural network model outperformed the regression model in terms of forecast accuracy, degree of forecast bias and model fit. The results suggest that neural network modelling can be used to integrate managerial judgments and actual operating data to accurately forecast software project completion times.

MSC:

90B50 Management decision making, including multiple objectives
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