The #1 Metric is Function Points, Says ISACA

Interesting and great news came out last week via the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG)!

Function points are the top metric in use today!

The ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) recently announced its results from a survey of 126 managers, developers, and metrics coordinators in the U.S. on metrics utilization and awareness.

Function points came on top as the #1 metric with 39% of the total, followed by Lines of Code with 21%.

Use Of Metrics

This information is available here.

Of course, we're obvious advocates of FPs, but it's exciting to see that function points are gaining traction in the industry and that more organizations are able to reap the benefits of their use!

If you're interested in function points, we offer a variety of training classes, consulting and solutions to assist you. Questions? Just ask!


Written by Default at 05:00
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Functional Size Estimation

DavidIn a recent IEEE Software article*, the authors (Christof Ebert and Hassan Soubra) provide a comprehensive overview of estimating techniques for software maintenance. In particular they focus on the use of functional size measurement (FSM) as a key parameter for successfully estimating a software project.

What may be most refreshing about the article is the candid observations made regarding the realities of project estimating. For example, they make note of the fact that estimates are often confused with goals or plans and failure to understand the gaps among goals, plans and estimates is often the cause of failure. Additionally, they note that FSM can be "tedious and time-consuming" for organizations with a larger number of projects to measure and go on to introduce a selection of automated tools that support FSM.

The article also does a nice job of introducing the COSMIC method of measuring software’s functional user requirements (FUR) for both the business and real-time applications. This supports their premise that estimation has moved away from being about size and is moving towards a greater focus on functional estimates. Our experience at DCG, seeing the widespread use of IFPUG function points, would underscore that premise.

Finally, the authors included a mini case study that helps to further advance the reader's understanding of the use of FSM. All in all, this article is a good read and provides some useful observations and information that anyone interested in sizing and estimating should know.

If you find yourself intereste in more information about COSMIC and Function Point Analysis, look no further, we have an article comparing the two.

David Herron
Vice President, Software Performance Management

* Functional Size Estimation Technologies for Software Maintenance, IEEE Software, 11/2014

Written by David Herron at 05:00

Function Point Analysis: What We Offer

The ability to accurately size software is a critical aspect of managing and controlling successful project delivery. DCG is the leading providing of Functional Sizing services. We offer a variety of sizing techniques, including Function Point Analysis, FP Lite, Quick and Early Function Points (QEFP) and COSMIC.

Of course, the question you care most about is, "Why should I bother with Functional Sizing?" Here's why:

  • You have the ability to compare the size of your software deliverables, which helps with determining priority and schedules.
  • You have the ability to make more precise project estimates (both in terms of time and cost).
  • You have the ability to see how your projects fare compared to industry benchmark data.
  • You have the ability to more appropriately set user expectations (both in terms of time and cost).
  • Ultimately, you have a well-defined currency for measuring the value delivered to an end user.

How do you capture the value of Functional Sizing and where do you start? Here's where we can help.

To start, we offer training classes to help you and your team learn about function points and execute function point counts:

  • CFPS Prep: Our preparation course for the Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) Examination is intended to refresh participants on the fundamentals of counting and applying function points for their certification exam. (PMI-certified for 8.00 credits)
  • Function Point Fundamentals: Our course provides you with the opportunity to learn and apply Function Point counting techniques.
  • Function Points: Advanced: Our course accelerates your comprehension of the Function Point Analysis technique through intensive instruction and hands-on practical application.
  • Quick and Early Function Points: Our course provides easy-to-understand concepts and easy-to-use techniques for sizing units of work to support estimating and measuring progress during Agile sprints and traditional lifecycles.

Looking for more than just training? That's where our Function Point Analysis Center of Excellence (COE) comes in. This is a pre-packaged solution for developing an internal framework to execute sizing in your organization. We work with you to build the framework, and then we run the Center of Excellence until your team has the time and resources necessary to run it in-house.

Need more information? Your first stop should be the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), a non-profit and leader in promoting and encouraging the use of Function Point Analysis and other software measurement techniques.

You can also find a number of DCG-authored books on Amazon:

  • Measuring The Software Process: A Practical Guide (David Garmus and David Herron). Order now.
  • Function Point Analysis: Measurement Practices for Successful Software Projects (David Garmus and David Herron). Order now.
  • IT Measurement: Practical Advice from the Experts(IFPUG with DCG contributions). Order now.
  • The IFPUG Guide to IT and Software Measurement (IFPUG with DCG contributions). Order now.

If you have any questions or just want more information about Functional Sizing, just let us know via email or in the comments below!


Written by Default at 05:00
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Are There Other Types of Function Points?


We're proponents of COSMIC and IFPUG function points, but there are other types of function points out there. Our latest Trusted Advisor report outlines the various types of function points and evaluates the pros and cons of each type.

If you're interested in function points, then this report is for you!

Trusted Advisor is open to all IT professionals. Though the reports are available to anyone via our website, members of Trusted Advisor can submit the questions that generate each month's report.

Interested in joining Trusted Advisor? Email Mike Harris for more information.

Read the Report.

Written by Default at 05:00

Sizing User Stories Using Function Points

DavidStory points are commonly used as a relative size measure for Agile projects. By incorporating function point sizing  into the mix of measures, Agile teams can gain further insights that will help them to more effectively manage and deliver the right software solution.

Could this solution work for you and your team?

Join David Herron, VP of Software Performance Management, for a webinar that will provide a brief overview of the function point sizing technique and will also demonstrate how function points can be applied to sizing user stories.

A step-by-step analysis  of the process of will be presented.

Date: September 25th, 2014
Time: 11:30am EST

Register Now.

Written by Default at 05:00
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