Effort estimation is an important activity in agile software
development. The goal of the presented study was to determine the
influence of individual competence on software development effort
estimation. In particular, we measured both the accuracy of effort
estimation and the duration of the estimation process itself, both for
three different estimation methods. The subjects of our study were teams
of students of a graduate-level software engineering course at the
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science.
Based on the grades that individual students attained in their
undergraduate study, we classified each team as ‘high-competence’ or
‘low-competence’ and additionally as ‘heterogeneous’ or ‘homogeneous’
(the criterion here being the variance of the members’ average grades).
We found out that there was no significant difference in effort
estimation accuracy neither between high-competence and low-competence
teams nor between heterogeneous and homogeneous teams, regardless of
which estimation method was used. However, high-competence teams spent
significantly less time on effort estimation than low-competence ones.
Likewise, for two of the employed estimation methods, heterogeneous
teams completed effort estimation in a significantly shorter time than
homogeneous teams. These results might benefit both academic and