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Reference Section
Papers & Articles
Recommended Books


The Reading Room provides electronic copies of: Papers presented by us; our News Letter and various Reference Materials. It also gives references to other web sites and books we have found useful.

Reference Section

MkII FPA Counting Practices Manual Version 1.3.1
Author: UK Software Metrics Association – Metrics Practices Committee

The Mk II FPA Counting Practices Manual is the very latest and definitive description of Mk II Function Point Analysis, including all changes up to October 1998. This latest release has been updated to take account of the results of the first Inter-counter Consistency Checking Experiment, and incorporates changes to improve the explanation of the technique, along with additional guidance to help practitioners avoid common causes of error.

The Mk II CPM has been restructured so that the definition of the technique and the FPA process is clear and distinct. Chapter 2 presents the Six Rules of Mk II FPA, while Chapter 3 presents eleven Measurement Steps.

Other chapters provide both general and specific guidance, discuss measurement of effort and productivity, and introduce estimating. A Glossary Of Terms is included, along with a foreword by our own Charles Symons, originator of the technique.

The full manual is available for viewing and downloading in Adobe PDF 3.0 format.

Papers & Articles

Using Measures to Understand Requirements - PDF (406Kb / 36 pages)
Author: Grant Rule

Presented on 4 April 2001 at ESCOM 2001

Many approaches fashionable with technically-oriented practitioners clearly fail to satisfy the need for clarity of requirements. Some even trade short-term acceleration for long-term maintenance & support costs. What is missing? What can be done to ensure that new technologies help rather than hinder? This paper suggests some simple process improvements that might have made all the difference in a number of cases including:

  • A bespoke client/server development using Use Cases to drive OOA/D, cancelled at a cost of £5m GBP due to poorly understood requirements.
  • A global, multi-release development where the customer/supplier relationship broke down due to misunderstood tradeoffs between speed and productivity.
  • The case of an organisation driven by marketing & competition that has struggled to understand and control requirements and costs.
  • A case where the 'flow of requirements' to an outsourced supplier is controlled using measures agreed at a contractual level.
  Made available on website in May 2001

The Importance of Size - PDF (155Kb / 18 pages)
Author: Grant Rule

Presentation Slides - PDF only (275Kb / 31 slides)

Presented at the NASSCOM Conference, Mumbai, India, 7th-10th February 2001

Size measurement methods have played a key role in helping to solve real-world problems of estimating, supplier/customer disputes, performance improvement and the management of outsourced contracts. This paper discusses the history of functional size measurement and the status of the COSMIC–FFP method.

  Made available on website in May 2001

Come back Function Point Analysis (modernised) - All is Forgiven! - PDF (213Kb / 11 pages)
Author: Charles Symons

In this paper, Charles examines the reasons for the decline, and the main advances in thinking on the more general topic of Functional Size Measurement (FSM) which have been made in the last 15 years. Specifically, the COSMIC FFP method is seen as a significant step forward in being the first method designed by an international group of software metrics experts to work for both business application and real-time software.

  Made available on website in May 2001

An overview of COSMIC-FFP field trial results - PDF (53Kb / 9 pages)
Author: Abran A., Symons C., Oligny S.,

This report presents an overview of the field trial results, including an analysis of the relationship of effort with respect to the software functional size, measured in COSMIC-FFP size units. The data set is described, as well as the constraints for the interpretation of the results.

  Made available on website in May 2001

Sizing E-commerce - PDF (116Kb / 7 pages)
Author: Dr Tony Rollo

"As a consultant who provides a range of metrics based services to clients I am finding an increasing demand to size web based e-commerce applications. This paper will outline an exploration of some sizing techniques."

  Made available on website in May 2001

Compliant, Correct, Consistent, Complete: UKSMA’s Improvement PlanPDF only (585Kb / 49 slides and pages)
Author: Grant Rule

Presented at the IFPUG Spring Conference 1998

"Recognising the need for improvement, and in a desire to "practice what we preach", the UK Software Metrics Association is attempting, over time, to bring Mark II Function Point Analysis under statistical process control." ... [Abstract from paper]

The full paper is available for viewing and downloading in Adobe PDF 3.0 format.

Rapid Application Portfolio Sizing - PDF only (63Kb / 6 pages)
Author: Charles Symons

This paper outlines approximation methods of ‘Rapid Application Portfolio Sizing’ using either the IFPUG or MkII approach to functional size measurement.

Conversion between IFPUG 4.0 and MkII Function Points - PDF only (133Kb / 10 pages)
Author: Charles Symons
Version: 3.0

The question often arises how does the IFPUG 4.0 Function Point scale for the size of software compare with the MkII FP scale, and how can one convert? This paper discusses this question, assuming the reader has a basic understanding of one or both of these methods.

  Updated 24 August 1999

Issues with IFPUG Counting Practices Version 4
Mick Burn-Murdoch

First presented at the IFPUG Spring Conference 1996

"Version 4 of the Counting Practices Manual has now been in use for some two years. It is time to take stock and evaluate the greatly enhanced definition and explanation of the rules. In general the document has proved to be a considerable improvement on its predecessors. The improved manual must reduce the opportunities for different interpretations within the function point community. However there are a number of issues with Version 4 of the counting practice. Some of the issues are specific to version 4. Others issues date from earlier versions."

Controlling Software Contracts
Author: Charles Symons

First presented at the European SEPG Conference, Amsterdam, June 1997

Explores the critical issues of how software contracts can be controlled, and the difficulties involved from the customer and supplier viewpoints. Customer and supplier objectives are examined, and ways in which the supplier can add value. The types of performance measures needed are described, and the importance of performance trade-offs is discussed. The difficulties of conventional software contracting processes are described, as well as a new 'SCUD' process which appears to overcome some of the difficulties. Finally, several case studies are used to illustrate the main messages of this paper, and some concluding lessons are drawn for suppliers, customers, and the Software Engineering community at large.

A Comparison of the Mark II and IFPUG Variants of Function Point Analysis
Author: Grant Rule

Aims to show the similarities between the two most popular variants of function point analysis while also pointing out the main differences. It does not aim to make a value judgment regarding which is the "better" technique that is left as an exercise for the reader. The two variants compared are those documented in the IFPUG FPA Counting Practices Manual Release 4.0 and the UKSMA Mark II FPA Counting Practices Manual Version 1.0.

Recommended Books

Software Engineering Practices

Principles of Software Engineering Management
Tom Gilb

Software Requirements & Specifications
Michael Jackson


Software Metrics:
Establishing A Company-Wide Program

Robert Grady and Deborah Caswell

Software Metrics
A practitioner's guide to improved product development

K.H. Möller and D.J. Paulish

SSADM Version 4 Subject Guides
Estimating with Mk II Function Point Analysis


Related Web Sites

Software Measurement Services Ltd. is not responsible for the content of external web sites

Software Process Improvement

Process Transition International, Inc.

European Software Institute

Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal

Software Engineering Institute

Software Productivity Consortium


SPI Partners
The Dutch Website for Software Process Improvement



Software Measurement

COSMIC - COmmon Software Measurement International Consortium

Australian Software Metrics Association

Charismatek Software Metrics

International Function Point Users Group

Metrics Headline News, H Rubin

United Kingdom Software Metrics Association

Longstreet Consulting Inc.
More on Counting Internet Applications

The Goal/Question/Metric Method

FP listserv web site

The Rationale for SPI

Centre for Software Reliability

International Software Benchmarking Standards Group

Year 2000

Government Organisations

CCTA, The UK Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency

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 This page was updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2003

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