ISO/IEC 19761:2011

Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, Subcommittee SC 7, Software and systems engineering.

Software is a major component of many corporate budgets. Organizations recognize the importance of controlling software expenses and analysing the performance of the budgets allocated to software development and maintenance in order to benchmark against the best in the field. To do so, measures and models using these measures are needed.

Measures are needed for analysing both the quality and the productivity associated with developing and maintaining software. On the one hand, technical measures are needed to quantify the technical performance of products or services from a developer’s viewpoint. Technical measures can be used for efficiency analysis; to improve the performance of designs, for instance.

On the other hand, functional measures are needed to quantify the performance of products or services from a user’s or owner’s perspective; for productivity analysis, for instance. Functional measures must be independent of technical development and implementation decisions. They can then be used to compare the productivity of different techniques and technologies.

The Full Function Points (FFP) method was proposed in 1997 with the aim of offering a functional size measure specifically adapted to real-time software. Field test results, coupled with the feedback received from organizations which used it, motivated the authors to improve the method. Many improvements were also inspired by the work of the Common Software Measurement International Consortium (COSMIC). The results of these efforts were published in May 2001 as version 2.1 of the COSMIC-FFP Functional Size Measurement Method (as it was first named), aiming to be applicable to business application, real-time and system software.

ISO/IEC 19761:2003 was based on this version 2.1 of the COSMIC-FFP Functional Size Measurement method. Extensive experience of using the method convinced the Common Software Measurement International Consortium of the need for various clarifications and improvements to the description of the method. Version 3.0 of the method was therefore published in December 2007. These various changes have not altered the underlying model for the measurement of software functional size since it was first published in 2001.

The International Standard aims to meet the needs of
a) software suppliers facing the task of translating customer requirements into the functional size of software to be produced as a key activity in their project cost estimating,
b) customers who want to know the functional size of delivered software as an important component of measuring supplier performance.
With version 3.0 of the method, the name of the method was simplified from “COSMIC-FFP” to “COSMIC”. The name of the unit of measure has also been simplified from “Cfsu” (COSMIC functional size unit) to “CFP” (COSMIC Function Point).

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