Auditing - Function Point Counts

"Checking the function point results of your suppliers?"

Total Metrics pioneered the concept of a quantitative objective means of auditing function point counts. Our methodology was the first to be published in1996 (IEEE Metrics Conference Proceedings 1996)and has since become the accepted method of validation of function point counts worldwide. IFPUG has presented our FPA Validation Course at their annual IFPUG Conferences since 1997.

In addition to performing audits and training our clients in auditing we also assist organizations who are developing contracts based on Function points to develop the "Terms of Reference" for the audit. If your organization already has a contract that allows audits on your counts we assist you in ensuring that the audit process is fair and equitable.

Why Audit?

 Many outsourcing contracts are based on penalties or bonuses being paid based on productivity rates of the suppliers. Some suppliers charge for their development effort based on dollars per function point delivered. When productivity rates or payment scales are measured using Function Points then it is critical that the supplier is function point counting accurately. It is not enough to have the counters IFPUG CFPS certified, counts should be regularly audited to ensure the counters are following the agreed process and the IFPUG guidelines. When every function point translates to $1000 of development costs then just one counting error can translate to the client paying up to $15,000 too much!

TOTAL METRICS have developed a structured approach to function point count validation supported by software that leads the auditor through all aspects of a count, highlighting areas that are likely to have errors. The methodology uses statistical patterning based on valid counts to identify variances in the count being checked. By pinpointing likely problem areas the auditor can then target the detailed checking on these areas to identify adhoc and systemic counting errors. During the audit, we always endeavor to maximize skills transfer to your counters, to correct counting errors and revise basic counting rules. An audit typically takes 2 to 4 hours per count (depends on size and number of errors found). The written audit report takes an additional day.

Total Metrics will also train your metrics team in the principles of validation and customize our Validation Procedures Manual to your needs to give your management confidence to make decisions based on accurate and valid size measures.

(Download Total Metrics Auditing Terms of Reference)

The Total Metrics consulting effort charged for our auditing activities is determined by:

  • the number function point counts to be audited

  • the number of projects, releases , applications required to be audited

  • the availability and quality of of supporting documentation, applications SME and the original counter