Function points are often described as the cornerstone metric of most software measurement programs. They have a wide range of use, both across the development life cycle and in their capability to display measured views of data with a technical and business orientation.
It is important to remember that no single view of data gives a complete picture. The function point measures must be used together with each other and with other related measures.
The key ingredients to a successful measurement program include the following:
A well-defined set of measures that are properly documented
A metrics repository that is centrally located and secured
The ability to effectively report the results and properly analyze the metrics data
In addition, a metrics profile should be developed for each measure. This profile is an efficient way to communicate critical information about the measure and to promote consistent use of the measure.
Finally, the greatest value in utilizing function point measures is as an industry indicator of performance. Many sources of data can be accessed for purposes of comparing internal rates of performance to external industry benchmarks.