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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Effort Estimation Technique: Function Point Analysis (Part 2)

In the previous post, you learned about the 5 functional components; now, in addition to these, there are 2 adjustment factors that need to be employed during Functional Point Analysis. These are:

Functional Complexity: As the name states, you need to consider the functional complexity for each unique function. Functional Complexity is determined based on the combination of data groupings and data elements of a particular function. Then, the data elements and unique groupings are counted, and based on a complexity matrix, these functions will be rated as high, medium, or low complexity (and the complexity matrix is unique for each of the 5 different types of functional components). Once this analysis is done, you get a total called as Unadjusted Function Point count.

Value Adjustment Factor: This is the second adjustment factor, and takes into account the system's operational and technical characteristics. There are a total of 14 questions / factors that need to be used for this calculation:
# Data Communication: The data and control information used in the application are sent or received over communication facilities
# Distributed data processing: Distributed data or processing functions are a characteristic of the application within the application boundary
# Performance: Application performance objectives, stated or approved by the user, in either response or throughput, influence (or will influence) the design, development, installation and support of the application.
# Heavily used configuration: How heavily used is the current hardware platform where the application will be executed?
# Transaction rate: How frequently are transactions executed daily, weekly, monthly, etc.?
# Online data entry: What percentage of the information is entered On-Line?
# End user efficiency: The on-line functions provided emphasize a design for end-user efficiency.
# Online update: The application provides on-line update for the internal logical files.
# Complex processing: Does the application have extensive logical or mathematical processing?
# Reusability: Was the application developed to meet one or many user’s needs?
# Installation ease: How difficult is conversion and installation?
# Operational ease: How effective and/or automated are start-up, back-up, and recovery procedures?
# Multiple sites: The application has been specifically designed, developed and supported to be installed at multiple sites for multiple organizations.
# Facilitate change: The application has been specifically designed, developed and supported to facilitate change.

One of the major sub-process in the FPA analysis is about counting of the Functional Points. There are several approaches used to count function points. The five major steps in the process of counting FPs are as follows:

1. Determine the type of count.
2. Identify the scope and boundary of the count.
3. Determine the unadjusted FP count.
4. Determine the Value Adjustment Factor.
5. Calculate the Adjusted FP Count.

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