Estimates: its all in the mind?

Tuesday 14 May 2013

6.00pm - 8.30pm (refreshments available 30 minutes before)

BCS London, Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Martin Shepperd and Carolyn Mair

Effective estimation, particularly of software project costs and durations, is an essential aspect of the planning and management software development projects. Although considerable research has been devoted to this topic, the human aspects of the experts who make and are responsible for the estimates, has been under-emphasised. We focus on how metacognition (thinking about thinking) is important for accurate estimation. Also how confidence in the prediction, or uncertainty assessment, plays a crucial role. Over-confidence may be as great a threat as over-optimism and the two are interlinked. Our aim is to improve the prediction practices of software professionals enhancing metacognition thus reducing over-confidence and over-optimism which are widespread and recurrent problems. The talk will cover:

  • the nature of prediction
  • cognitive biases and de-biasing strategies

About the Speakers:

Martin Shepperd is the Professor of Software Technology at Brunel University. He received a PhD in computer science from the Open University in 1991 for his work in measurement theory and its application to empirical software engineering. He has published more than 150 refereed papers and three books in the areas of software engineering and machine learning. Previously he worked for a number of years as a software developer for a major UK bank.

Carolyn Mair is a Reader in Psychology at the University of the Arts London. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist. Carolyn obtained her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Bournemouth University for her investigations into spatio-temporal aspects of visual memory and completed her post-doc at Brunel University. Carolyn's interests lie in applying cognitive psychology to solve real world problems, improve performance and enhance well-being.

Event report

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