Home > Articles > Software Development & Management

This chapter is from the book

Benefits of Function Point Counting and Estimation

It has been said that one cannot manage what one cannot measure. eSell's FP-based metrics allow measurement both before the project begins (for cost estimating) and during the project phases (for mid-course corrections and status checks). In the final analysis, without metrics, the delivery organization would have had no rational way of managing the project. For the customer, it was all about limiting their exposure on a "bleeding edge" project.

The key benefits to eSell's customers with this approach include:

  • Birth of the collaborative partnership: The project launch event with the initial FPE meeting is a microcosm of the entire project. It is a mini-project that has a start, a process, a deliverable (the FPE worksheet and the plan), and an end. Because the client is intimately involved more as a partner, the collaborative nature of the entire project is introduced. Delivering the size/effort/scope plan is a small enough deliverable to be an early and quick success for all. The tone is set, the ice is broken, and ground rules are established for the long-term relationship. We have found that the chance of a successful project is increased if the relationship sought from the outset with the customer is that of a partner—a truly concerned compatriot—and not an arms-length "vendor."

  • Focus on ultimate end-user: FPE forces the entire team to view the world from their customer's customer perspective (sometimes the customer's customer's customer). The ability-to statements serve to anchor the end-user's voice in the process. Combine this with an implementation methodology that physically engages the end-users, and you can virtually guarantee customer acceptance and satisfaction at go-live. Thus success is measured predominantly by end-user adoption, engagement, and satisfaction. A project that deploys an application that is on time and on budget but is rejected by its ultimate end-users is still a horrific failure.

  • Managing client expectations: The FPE worksheet is the vehicle by which the client's expectations can be accurately set and then tracked as the project proceeds. This includes both the scope of the functionality and the projected costs. With mid-project re-estimations, the client can manage the size of functional changes and their budgetary ramifications. It gives the customer the project cockpit instrumentation (sufficient metrics) and flight controls (ability to make corrections at a detailed level) necessary to manage and mitigate risk. This is especially apparent with the line-item-veto capability during the FPE process.

  • Better designs: FPE requires design reviews by disinterested third parties (the FP analysts) who are by necessity senior software architects in eSell's process. This is often done multiple times during the project, each time improving the design.

  • Accurate forecasts of effort: The project kickoff and FPE process reviews all client business processes with the client experts and the project design team at a very fine grain. The elementary business transactions correspond to FP elementary processes. Because each is sized and the effort estimated, the ramifications of adding, changing, or deleting functionality on budget is readily apparent. Without these metrics, sales and services would have been estimating too low or too high, with the inevitable result of disappointing either the client or eSell management. Customer satisfaction would certainly suffer. This could even have created a situation where liability would be a factor.

  • Credibility: eSell earns credibility from two perspectives. First, discussions are done at the business problem level, not at the technology feature/function level. The customer's customer's view is represented. Discussing at this level is more difficult but more compelling and effective than the traditional alternatives. Second, the teams fielded are senior experts who clearly inject the voice of experience. This shows especially in the level and quality of the questions asked, including those the client has not even thought about. Ultimately the client is enlightened by the process and ensuing discussions, which include analysis of the issues at the complete systems level. It becomes clear that this team of experts has solved these types of problems before. eSell's customers are being tasked by their Boards of Directors to jump on the Internet business wave. Many of these brick-and-mortar companies have been doing business the same traditional way for decades. To survive, they must gain enough confidence to become early adopters, but they are faced with the dot-com meltdown of the recent past and its associated marketing hype. Who can they trust? On what claims can they bet their company's future? The credibility earned during the project kickoff and FPE process alleviates many of these concerns.

The rigorous detail, standardized objective analysis, quantitative approach, lack of reliance on "guesstimation" and hand-waving, and line-item veto all gave eSell's customers a feeling of confidence in their ability to manage the project and budget risk and still have a high probability of success.

Let us now examine the component parts of this function point estimation program, as adapted and adopted at eSell. The following sections detail eSell's actual implementation of these atomic parts, listed here:

  • Extensions to the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) Counting Practices Manual 4.1 or CPM 4.1

  • The FPE worksheet

  • The productivity database repository

  • The processes used

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020