Approximate COSMIC Functional Size

Guideline for approximate COSMIC Functional Size Measurement

Vogelezang, M.

The COSMIC method provides a standardized way
of measuring the functional size of software from the functional
domains commonly referred to as ‘business application’ or
‘Management Information Systems’ (MIS) and ‘real-time’
software, and hybrids of these.
In practice it is often sufficient to measure a functional size
approximately. Typical situations where such a need arises are
early in the life of a project, before the functional user
requirements (‘FUR’) have been specified down to the level of
detail where the precise size measurement is possible or when a
measurement is needed, but there is insufficient time or no need
to measure the required size using the standard method.
The guideline describes the current state of the art with
regard to approximate COSMIC functional size measurement.
All proposed COSMIC approximation methods rely on
determining some average of the size(s) and/or number(s) of
functional processes. The fact that the size of a single functional
process has no upper finite limit is probably the reason why
multiple COSMIC approximation methods have been developed
for different types of software. Therefore the guideline describes
a number of approximation methods with their pros and cons,
their recommended area of application and their validity, rather
than document a single COSMIC approximation method.


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