The Dashboard Spy

June 23, 2006

COCOMO Dashboard – Estimating software development costs with the Constructive Cost Model

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 11:54 am

Yes, I know it sounds like a Beach Boys song, but there is a software costing methodology called COCOMO. It stands for Constructive Cost Model and was developed at TRW/Northrop-Grumman in 2002.

Here is an enterprise dashboard which provides a COCOMO methodology interface. It is a live Xcelsius dashboard demo that can be tried here.  You can use the interactive components in this xcelsius dashboard to change the factors in the model and instantly see the impact. KPIs fall into Product, Computer, Personnel and Project categories. Lines of code and cost per line are typical measures.

COCOMO comes in 3 flavors. Each is increasingly detailed and offers higher degrees of accuracy. Basic COCOMO computes software development effort (cost) as a function of program size. Estimated lines of code is how program size is measured. Intermediate COCOMO computes software development effort as function of program size and a set of cost drivers that include subjective assessment of product, hardware, personnel and project attributes. Detailed COCOMO incorporates all characteristics of the previous versions with an assessment of the cost driver's impact on each step  of the software development process (SDLC).

Here is the dashboard:

Enterprise dashboard cocomo

Homework: There are 2 areas of follow up for you enterprise dashboard project members. First, if you are not familiar with Xcelsius as a dashboarding product, start with the Crystal Xcelsius for Dummies book. It's quite a good introduction to this visually exciting dashboard technology. In a nut shell, Xcelsius lets you present Excel data in a flash-based presentation. It is geared toward business users and lets them create a polished interface. The power of the flash components is that you can interact with them. You can literally turn dials and read the effects of your what-if changes on the guages. The second area of study is the COCOMO methodology of software costing. Start with these books on COCOMO and software estimation.

Tags: Enterprise Dashboard, Xcelsius Dashboard, COCOMO Dashboard

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ Also check out The Dashboard Spy's favorite books on business dashboards.

1 Comment »

  1. Hello Dashboard Spy. I enjoy your blog about financial dashboards and marketing dashboards. It is good to see such information. I have been studying this topic for many months now and am glad to see so many examples. I will visit your site often.

    I was very interested in seeing your post about “KPI Requirements for Dashboard Projects – Using the KPI business scorecards”. Thank you for the information about this dashboard topic. There is a dashboard project at work about this subject.

    The business scorecards graphic is very nice. I like the colors and the questions are very interesting – What Question? Who’s Asking, Why is it Important, etc. I think it is very good. I also like the layout of the screen. I have a question about the boxes on the right side. Is the user supposed to type the answers to the questions into the boxes?

    Comment by saibaba — November 22, 2007 @ 1:12 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: