Tuesday, August 09, 2005

IFPUG Function Point Counting http://www.ifpug.org/

Today I started working on a tender response to a client which required Function Point Counting to be used as a basis for estimating the size and cost of the project. To be honest I had never heard of Function Point Counting before now, so I did what all of us in Software Development do. Went and searched Amazon and bought the book most users recommended http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0201699443/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-3488611-1234263#reader-link and plan to read up on it before the week ends. For the uninitiated here is what function point counting is all about.
"Function Point Analysis (FPA) is a sizing measure of clear business significance. First made public by Allan Albrecht of IBM in 1979, the FPA technique quantifies the functions contained within software in terms that are meaningful to the software users. The measure relates directly to the business requirements that the software is intended to address. It can therefore be readily applied across a wide range of development environments and throughout the life of a development project, from early requirements definition to full operational use. Other business measures, such as the productivity of the development process and the cost per unit to support the software, can also be readily derived.

The function point measure itself is derived in a number of stages. Using a standardized set of basic criteria, each of the business functions is a numeric index according to its type and complexity. These indices are totalled to give an initial measure of size which is then normalized by incorporating a number of factors relating to the software as a whole. The end result is a single number called the Function Point index which measures the size and complexity of the software product. "

I will try and blog on my exp with this methodology, if any one else has used this before would appreciate your feed back.