How to Calculate Man-Hours for The Software Project

How to Calculate Man-Hours for The Software Project

Cost estimation is the core of the software development process. It is important that each company has the ability to estimate each project it owns.

There is a long process leading to cost estimates. In addition to costs, there is another important aspect to consider:

How long does it take to deliver the product? Answering these questions, we need to know a few things: How to calculate the software?

How Does Software Development Project Estimation Work?

To make accurate estimates and get an estimate of how to provide estimates for software development, it is important to understand the scope of work. We have explained this in previous blog posts, let’s summarize the main steps of some key points in the estimation process.

  • Understanding the scope of work.
  • Understanding the overall complexity of the project
  • Divide the whole complex projects into simple manageable tasks and therefore easy to estimate
  • Based on experience, familiarity with the task and expertise; estimate these tasks one by one

Most project estimation processes begin with these steps. The most important thing is to divide the project into smaller units, which are easier to estimate.

How to Estimate a Software Project

Estimating how long it may take an intermediate developer to develop an API to perform LDAP authentication is much simpler than estimating how long it takes to protect the application.

Now that we know more about working time representation, we’ll see how to estimate software projects, especially working time projects.

In implementing software projects, the development team used several methods and good practices.

Agility encourages the development team to participate in the design phase and load estimation process.

Before going through some techniques for estimating software development projects, let’s define some concepts that we need to better understand.

  • Backlog: A backlog is a group of tasks that need to be completed in order to complete a project.
  • User story: A user story is a simple unit of tasks, it defines what needs to be done in order to achieve a specific goal.
  • Story points: A story point is a unit of measure that translates the amount of work needed to complete a user story.

With these definitions in mind, we are going to see how to provide estimates for software development.

Planning Poker or Scrum Poker

Planning poker is a practice introduced by an agile approach. During poker planning, when the project is divided into stories, everything is put in the backlog, the development team meets to discuss the time required to complete the project based on the history of delays.

The term poker may suggest a random estimate of gambling or tasks. Actually, in poker planning, those who will implement the project will give their input to each task and discuss when estimates are very divergent.

Cards contain values: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, because they are similar to the Fibonacci kit, we will only have 20, 40 and 100 instead of 21, 34, 55 and 3 additional cards containing non-numeric values: coffee cards, question mark cards, and infinity cards.

Developers will first agree on the simplest user stories in the BackLog, which will serve as a reference and will be affected by the history point value 1. Numbers are closer to the value 1 represents the user’s history, which is simple, while those far from 1 have greater complexity. User stories are more complex than 100

Experience-based Estimation

Another approach consists of doing the estimation based on similar projects, the actual man-hours needed to complete them and adapt to the context of the software project to estimate.

At this point, it is important to evaluate the complexity compared to the past projects taken as references.

Externalize Estimation

If the person trying to make the estimate does not have the background or knowledge to make the estimate or is not familiar with how to estimate the project hours, you can ask the outside team, as it is important to have an accurate estimate.

Tools for the Estimation

Now that we are aware of how to estimate a software project in man-hours, we are going to browse some tools used during software development project estimation.


However, the development of accurate time estimates takes a lot of time. It is an important factor in the success of software development, so it is important to know how to calculate software development costs.

Developers may feel frustrated that they may need a lot of extra time to deliver the software on an agreed date with the customer.

On the other hand, customers can also feel frustrated if delivery dates are constantly delayed or delayed, or if budgets are constantly reviewed after a deployment begins.


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