Why Function Points?
The ‘should cost’ of a software solution is heavily influenced by the a very few factors e.g. size,
productivity, application. This makes estimation a relatively easy process although there are always
concerns when is comes to establishing ‘size’. This short thought piece makes the case for the use of
Function Points as the standard sizing mechanicals for Software Should Cost Analysis
Quantitative software measurement extends significant benefits to IT organizations. Relatively few
successful, robust, and mature measurement frameworks have been implemented. Function Points
continues to be the “de facto” standard for software measurement around the world.
“When performance is measured, performance improves” (Galorath, D & Evans, M. 2006)
Control of your software development productivity is probably the most tangible benefit derived from
the implementation of Function Points. Organizations that can measure their productivity
(Hours/Function Point) can establish models to benchmark their productivity against the rest of the
industry (which includes competitors and similar organizations) and their own historical performance.
Based on this, they can truly start to develop a competitive advantage by identifying ways to develop
software faster and cheaper, without impacting quality and overall end user satisfaction.
The impacts of software measurement extend multiple levels within an organization:
At this first level, development teams and project managers are primarily accountable for project
delivery. This requires the proper tools and methods to track and control performance as well as the
ability to estimate software deliverables (work packages). The second level of the organization features
middle managers. These are typically department or business division managers, PMO directors and
portfolio/account managers responsible for multiple projects. Metrics that provide this insight include
productivity, cost monitoring and control, performance and efficiency, and overall quality. Finally, CEO
level management need information to make good strategic decisions based on information provided by
software measurement. Function Points are the underpinning metric that makes all this possible.
About the author:
Esteban Sanchez is a Galorath instructor, Certified Function Points Specialist who also serves at the
IFPUG Functional Sizing Standards Committee