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.



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  2. Hallo Shaji,
    I'm also new to function points, but am getting interested in them as a way to size services in an SOA. I found this short, but concise, powerpoint introduction. Handy as a reference.

  3. Function Points are excellent technique to size software for sizing software. They do not address complexity directly (only in terms larger applications and projects tending to be more complexity than smaller). Check out the International Function Point Users Group and my podcast, the Software Process and Measurment Cast - www.spamcast.com

  4. Shaji,

    How did your use of the methodology go? Have you checked out the IFPUG website (www.ifpug.org). Another soruce of information is the counting practice manual available from IFPUG. Good counting.

  5. Shaji,

    I consult, teach and count function points (currently the president of IFPUG). I find FP a great way to get to size. When you combine size, behaviors and complexity with delivery rate you end up with a great estimation tool.

    Tom Cagley,
    Software Process and Measurement Cast (www.spamcast.net)

  6. Hi

    People are invited to use this free online FP tool


    If you register on the site (go to home page to register) then it will let you save your work as you go. There are other tools as well, please have a look at the services tab on the home page

    Do send your suggestions for improvement.