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Re: [CMMi Process Improvement] Update on work in ISO pertaining to Function Points (Functional Size Measurement

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  • William Alexander
    As I ve mentioned in the past, I m certainly no expert on function points, but can see a lot of possibilities there, especially for estimating software costs
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2002
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      As I've mentioned in the past, I'm certainly no expert
      on function points, but can see a lot of possibilities
      there, especially for estimating software costs in
      non-SLOC development environments. My company right
      now handles the problem by ignoring it, so that for
      the LabView generated by the testing team (usually
      veteran hardware engineers), the cost estimators just
      use a SWAG based on previous jobs without factoring in
      complexity increases. Can FPs be used to estimate this
      kind of job by looking at the inputs, outputs, and
      screens (which you could probably pull out of the
      systems spec), which sometimes takes several guys
      working almost a year and a half or more to complete?

      Making function points an ISO standard sounds like a
      great idea to me. It's always baffled me why IFPUG has
      been a closed group, when making it open would have
      spread the usage of FPs a lot further. Hopefully,
      making it an ISO standard will accomplish this.

      Bill Alexander
      Senior Project Analyst

      --- Carol Dekkers <dekkers@...> wrote:
      > Dear CMMI_Process_Improvement group members,
      > Based on the fact that there have been postings
      > related to Function
      > Points in the past on this group, I provide you with
      > the following
      > update on what is happening on the international
      > front as it pertains
      > to function points (functional size measurement).
      > For those of you
      > disinterested in this topic, simply hit DELETE on
      > your email browser.
      > Best wishes,
      > Carol Dekkers
      > Quality Plus Technologies Inc.
      > Software Measurement Solutions, POWERful Results
      > www.qualityplustech,.com
      > ===================================================
      > As you may or may not know, the International
      > Organization for
      > Standardization (ISO) establishes working groups
      > within the
      > Information Technology subcommittee ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7
      > whose job it is
      > to standardize relevant concepts and models related
      > to software and
      > systems engineering. One such group is working group
      > 12 of which I
      > have been a member and contributor since 1994 on
      > behalf of the US,
      > and on behalf of the International Function Point
      > Users Group
      > (IFPUG). Working Group 12 (WG12) is concerned with
      > the topic of
      > Functional Size Measurement (function points), and
      > this update
      > pertains to the work underway in our working group.
      > I just returned two weeks ago (Nov. 4-8, 2002) from
      > Cape Town, South
      > Africa where Working Group 12 (Functional Size
      > Measurement) had its
      > interim meetings, and can report the following to
      > you to you: (Note
      > that other working groups such as WG10--> where SEI
      > representatives
      > work on behalf of the US to standardize SPICE/CMMIsm
      > related
      > frameworks, and WG7--> concerned with the software
      > life cycle
      > processes standard ISO 12207, were also meeting in
      > Cape Town at the
      > same time.)
      > � The function point community worldwide will soon
      > have three
      > Functional Size Measurement Methods to boast about
      > as ISO standards.
      > Besides our own IFPUG 4.1 unadjusted method becoming
      > ISO 20926, both
      > Mark II (the variation of function point counting
      > used primarily in
      > the UK) and the NESMA FP method (the Netherlands FP
      > method which is
      > >95% the same as IFPUG 4.1 unadjusted) are soon to
      > be published as
      > ISO standards. This is outstanding news for the
      > Function Point
      > community --- especially since function points has
      > only been a part
      > of the ISO vocabulary for less than 5 years with the
      > publication of
      > ISO/IEC 14143-1:1998 Definition of Concepts.
      > � Did you know that an ISO standard only has an
      > untouched
      > lifespan of 5 years? As soon as a standard is 5
      > years old, it must
      > be reviewed to ensure that its content remains
      > current with the
      > thinking of the industry. The first ISO standard
      > pertaining to
      > Functional Size Measurement-- Concepts, ISO/IEC
      > 14143-1:1998 will
      > have its 5th birthday in 2003, and WG12 has already
      > started planning
      > for its "revision". One of the foremost
      > considerations for this
      > standard is to ensure that it will not inject new
      > criteria in the
      > standard that would make existing published ISO
      > standards of Function
      > Size Measurement Methods (as described above)
      > non-conformant. We had
      > some interesting discussion about the direction this
      > review/revision
      > should/could take in the coming months. Stay tuned
      > for more details.
      > � The remaining parts of the suite of Functional
      > Size
      > Measurement standards are coming to a close with the
      > publication of
      > Part 2 (Conformity Assessment) as an IS
      > (International Standard), and
      > Parts 3, 4 and 5 (as Technical Reports which will
      > need to be
      > transformed into International Standards in the next
      > 3 years).
      > � There are two new work items undergoing
      > development at this
      > time. The first is COSMIC FFP which is the
      > functional sizing
      > proposal that builds on the original Full Function
      > Point methodology
      > introduced by Alain Abran at the University of
      > Quebec. While the
      > method is still undergoing change, the changes are
      > stabilizing as the
      > method proceeds through the ISO standardization
      > process. The second
      > new work item is intended to form Part 6 of the
      > suite of FSM
      > standards as a Guide to (the Use of) the 14143 suite
      > of standards and
      > Related Software Standards (such as the methods
      > published by ISO
      > including IFPUG 4.1 unadjusted, Mark II, and NESMA).
      > It is not yet
      > clear who the audience for this part 6 document will
      > be, nor for what
      > specific purpose the standard will address, rather
      > that it be a guide
      > to direct new practitioners and method developers to
      > navigate through
      > the existing 14143 suite of standards at a minimum.
      > � The next meeting where the IFPUG ISO committee
      > must attend is
      > scheduled for April 2003 in Fredericksburg, VA, and
      > the next SC7
      > plenary is scheduled for May 2003 in Montreal,
      > Canada.
      > . In other news, the IEEE Computer Society has
      > proposed a liaison
      > initiative with ISO to ensure that standards
      > maintained and developed
      > by both groups are more consistent and have the
      > input of the IEEE and
      > ISO at the same time. This proposal is up for
      > ballot in the coming
      > months.
      > . If anyone on this forum is a member of any of the
      > US Technical
      > Advisory Group (TAG) member companies, or if you are
      > a member of ASQ
      > or IFPUG, and you'd like to get involved in the
      > review of draft ISO
      > standard documents (this means that you will
      > actually commit to
      > reviewing and providing comments!) -- drop me a note
      > to
      > dekkers@... and I can get you more
      > involved. Also
      > let me know what is your specific area of interest!
      > Happy Thanksgiving to all our US members!
      > Respectfully submitted by Carol Dekkers

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