Demystifying Function Points

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Clarifying Common Terminology

The term “project" is another term that often differs between its IT and function point meaning. When used in systems development, "project" can take on a variety of meanings, even within the same organization. "Project" can be used to describe variously:

·         The scope of work that includes enhancement or development of several discrete software applications

·         The scope of work including fixes/maintenance of existing functions plus enhancement to other functions of a single software application

·         Repairs of operating software upgrades of existing software

·         Combinations of any of the above

In function point counting, the word "project" refers to the work product associated with the development or enhancement of a single application (system). The definitions of development (project) in the IFPUG CPM glossary attests to this: “A collection of work tasks with a time frame and a work product to be delivered.”

Development project function point count (DFP): A count that measures the functions provided to the users with the first installation of the software delivered when the project is complete.

What this means to FP counters and developers is that a project in business or IT terms may actually equate to multiple function point projects and, therefore, translates into needing multiple

About the author

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers

Carol A. Dekkers is President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in creating peace of mind for companies who want to improve their software processes. Software measurement, software quality, process improvement, requirements, and software sizing (using function point analysis, as an example) are a few of the Quality Plus areas of specialization.

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