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Orange Effort Estimation Tool for Software Development







After years working in IT sector, mainly as PM, I have realized that

1. All software development organizations face the challenge of effort estimation

2. After searching the web I haven’t found a tool that could offer all the methods for effort estimation

3. Some tools available cover just one method and are not web-based and most of them seem to be outdated

4. I couldn't find a tool that has the ability to feed itself from community effort estimations and, at the same time, to be able to use organization specific characteristics and data.

So, I have decided to build this tool trying to cover the above needs. After a lot of reading, research and a few thousands lines of code here is my software development tool.

Basic Tool Design

The tool is web-based, therefore it can be used from anywhere with a web browser. There is a server part and a client side. All calculations and data are performed/stored in one central server/database. The client communicates using SOAP web services. The client side code is available, as open source, to everyone to download.

The client file has been built with PHP; all code is in one single php file. This makes the tool easy to share and integrate in various CMS or WEB systems.

Users can modify the client file to give their own feel and look and still have access to calculation file and database.

How it Works

This tool enables software development effort estimation using 5 different methods. All industry standard methods are used.


This is a model for effort estimation. The use of the model enables effort estimation from non-experts (e.g. not developers).

  • Work Breakdown Estimation

This is an effort estimation method based on expert judgment. Two options are available: Delphic Oracle and Three Point Estimation.

  • Analogy / Comparison Estimation

This method tries to find analogies and/or compares the project to be estimated with stored projects.

  • Custom modular estimation for WEB and Mobile

Finally, I have included a custom modular estimation method. Using this method you can use prior efforts estimations for small modules/pieces of work that can be found in most projects in order to create complicated project estimation.

The tool can be feeded with custom modules estimations for use in future project estimations and, also, allow the feeding of data for analogy/comparison effort estimations.

How To use

With you ID you can save and edit your estimations. I have added a lot of comments for most fields in order to help you. The tool based on data entered can use all methods and give a combined estimation or use any combination, even just one of them to provide effort estimation.

Based on the data entered and the findings the tool will use the methods available. In addition, some basic suggestions are available in case the actual effort is available to help for better effort estimation.


Some models have been simplified at some points to make the tool easier to use without compromising flexibility and accuracy, at least not a lot.

All data are stored in a public database, thus avoiding storing sensitive information, e.g. customer names.

Happy effort estimating!

For Custom Work on this tool Contact Us

Demo for software you can find at


You can download the software from


Just upload the file on a PHP enabled web server and you are ready to use it.

For support you can use our support forums at


Software is published under GPL license.

Orange Effort Estimation
Free software development effort estimation tool using five different methods

Orange Effort Estimation

Orange Effort Estimation

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Spyros TasosWelcome to our "personal mostly" page. For us, this is a part-time personal project that we develop during our free time and maintain with few friends with expertise in various fields. We gather here most of our personal work and knowledge. So you will find... open source software, training courses, blog articles and a lot more. Some things are free and some are available with cost, since they require some person time to be delivered to each person interested. We are happy because our free software has been downloaded about times until now, and this page has been visited by about people since 01-01-2012.
You can contact us using the contact form. We will respond in less than 24 hours.
Enjoy your staying! :)

Whatever... :-)

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