Software Measurement: The Way to Reach Business Goals

 

Currently, it is essential to increase the alignment between the business goals and technology services to achieve them successfully through measurement activities.
 
They should also be aligned to the purposes that motivated them: When applying for the measurement of an area of a room, the floor measurement is given, but that does not serve the purpose of painting a wall and has no value. Despite, it is apparently obvious in the case of the room and its walls, as these mistakes are very more common.
 
FATTO Software Consulting provides services to meet these purposes and bring the appropriate type of measurement where the clients operate. Our clients typically engage in three different contexts and involve in different measurement goals:

  • Software factories and projects
  • Systems and solutions suppliers
  • Customer of development services and systems maintenance

 

 

BEFORE SIGNING THE CONTRACT

 
Taking into account that the non-functional requirements are met, that the boundaries between applications will be respected and the risks to the variability in productivity related to the average productivity are properly addressed, what is the price of a function points and is there still a profit in the outsourcing project?
 
Answering these questions goes through the measurements which allow testing before any problem happens. It is not uncommon to find organizations that start looking for us after signing a contract to increase the number of function points, but many times, it is too late. Before that, the measurement makes it easier to meet the same goals with the customer. It provides inputs for testing that supports pricing.
 
AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT
 
It is not always too late! The measurement performed by the customer can be wrong or right considering wrong requirements. This resulted in FATTO Software Consulting's interest to also be specialized in requirements engineering. Our company supports our clients including their issues in the measurement process.
 
For us, discretion and confidentiality are essential. Cases like those described before are not in the courses produced by FATTO Software Consulting. We have created guides made from public notices which can be quite interesting if your business falls into this category:
 
How much do we have to pay for a function point? Any price is the lowest price when there is inflation in the measurement
- Despite the diversity of criteria for measuring software production, the trend is for this to be done according to the results.
 
In such a scenario, counting function points is like counting money. However, it is essential to understand the factors that affect the cost of this unit and obtain references that can help in the evaluation of a price that is appropriate to the context of each one. Both the role of the professional in metrics and proposed solutions in terms of management scenario was presented in the Second Brazilian Conference on Software Measurement and Analysis on 11/11/11 by Carlos Eduardo Vazquez (São Paulo).

 

 

 

 

 

PLANNING AND CONTROL PRODUCTION

 

The two main dilemmas for those responsible for software processes is the alignment between market demand and the delivered product since the team can work under their capacity or can use extra hours and deadlines pressures that can be avoided. Updating the product plan must consider the balance over a business perspective that can be established before a deeper technical analysis.

 

The key solution to these dilemmas is determining the production capacity of the development team in a business perspective along version. The answer to this determination goes through the measurement of submitted versions and approximate size at the time of creating a product plan.
 
FATTO Software Consulting has practical experience with this. If you are interested about our experiences, get to know our experience with LG systems.

 

Function Point-like product unit: A Real Case: Software maintenance has certain features when it is compared to its development. This article describes a successful resolution of doubts in a tactical and strategic management plan in the control software using Function Points.


Among these inquiries, the most critical are the generation of change requests of the customer base in a scenario where four versions are presented in a one year period; increase the quality and productivity; reduce work not related to the testing and development department and their production. (Presented by the ISMA Cinco on 15/09/2010 and the third conference on 01/10/2010 Software quality, support presentation available)


 - How to measure the software productivity of the team?

 

Reaching maximum productivity is the wish of any company that wants to succeed.

How to know if a software team is productive? How to improve performance to meet the highest performance? These are some of the questions proposed by Carlos Eduardo Vazquez, function point specialist on 12/03/2010.
 
In TOTVS (when it was still DATASUL), we supported the introduction of software metrics also managing measurements. That project was taken into account to publish the following: Software metrics focusing on FPA: Introducing case study DATASUL- Carçps Schuster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECRUITING SERVICES OF SOFTWARE AND PROJECTS FACTORIES

 

It is not reasonable to ask how much to pay for a software measurement demand to business people who are interested in their own profits. FATTO Software Consulting provides more benefits such as independence and enough experience to do measurements and analysis of data in the software production process.

 

The measurement cost is marginal compared to the execution cost. Our work usually has zero cost due to the fact that we use a business perspective instead of a technical perspective, which inflates the measurement process.

 

A story that may be of your interest can be found in the following video (Portuguese):

 

- Implementation of the Function Point Analysis: Barriers and good practice in a case Real (0:45) - Case of a successful implementation of the FPA, presented by Guilherme Simões in the first Brazilian conference on Measurement and Analysis Software in São Paulo (12/08/09).

 

INCREASE OF ESTIMATIONS PREDICTABILITY

 

The needs and levels of information to estimate depends on the moment when the measurement process is required. When it is earlier, there are more uncertainties. Regardless, the size measurement or approach increaseof predictability in the systems development and maintenance. For example :

 

The annual planning systems (sometimes there are more than one) requires the categorization the projects to be analyzed and prioritized

  • The planning of a project requires more precise estimates (although some of them are inaccurate) for purposes of goal setting

  • Changes must be sized to assess impact on the original plan

  • It is essential to know how many errors have been made in others projects through probabilistic, which allows the decision maker to have a reference related to the time of the final product delivery (or at least the final specification).

     

    FATTO Software Consulting has a lot of experience in performing size measurements and approaches in the estimating context. We are not limited to measurement activities.

 

 

  

FATTO Software Consulting provides measurement services from their functional and non functional requirements using both the most recognized metrics in the international market as well as those which are in a leading position, such as:

  • Function Point Analysis IFPUG (International Function Points Users Group)
  • COSMIC (Common Software Measurement International Software Consortium
  • SNAP (Software Non functional Assessment Process) 
  • NESMA (Netherlands Software Measurement Association)
  • SISP (Strategic Information Systems Plan)

 

When measuring, FATTO Software Consulting uses SCOPE as a support tool and works with dedicated specialists who are certified by function points IFPUG (CFPS) and the COSMIC professionals. They are enabled in development processes, support systems, and are context-aware of corporate managing and project management.

 

Objectives

 

The goals of this service are:

    • To measure software to bring visibility to the business areas of the product in the software production process.
    • To bring greater objectivity in management even when the requirements are available only in planning time frame.
    • Maintaining consistency in measurements and approaches from the perspective of the business areas during execution as the software will be delivered.

 

Modes

 

Measurement services can be performed in 3 types of contracts:

 

  • Global price fixed
  • Unit Price
  • Professional assignment

For more details see the following information:

 

Global Fixed Price

 

 

Our team evaluates with the client what business goals need to be achieved with the measurement process,what problems need to be solved and what inputs are available for analysis.

 
The client sends these inputs such as specifications, screen layouts, reports of interface between systems, functional prototypes, access to software version approval to be measured, etc to be analyzed by a team.
 
Our specialists develop, send and adjust a technical and commercial proposals with all information until a common understanding is aligned. Once this proposal is accepted by the client, our team presents an acquired solution for the positioning of the boundaries between applications, scope and types of measurement to achieve the business objectives.
 
Once the assumptions are established and accepted by the client, our team executes the measurement to cover matters that are unclear or incomplete inputs, which is an excellent opportunity to identify opportunities to improve customer processes.
 
At the end of the work, a template is delivered with measurements and a report of the used assumptions and an explanation of how the results can be used.
 
Complementary services are available for the purpose of supporting the use of function point analysis. For software factories, our company supports the measurements presentation.

 

Unit Price

 

Since the trading with clients is defined before the measurements process is developed according to the productivity goals, the unit price is expressed in terms per function point, timing and quality.
 
This mode is described in terms of three moments:

  • Preliminary definition of operational factors
  • Measurement execution
  • Frequent review

Above all, it allows FATTO Software Consulting to know the context in which the service is designed according to the client's reality, looking to reduce risks and offer competitive conditions to be more competitive. These three items are addressed at the time of the operation.


The main cost factor in measuring is the relationship between timing of assessment and understanding of the requirements regarding the functionality. In a development project, for example, the ratio reaches its maximum while in improvement projects this ratio tends to decrease.
 
Two important cost factors in the management of functional software measurement are the type and quality of inputs used, and the level of detail and traceability related to the inputs of the given measurements.
 
Last, but not least, goals of the deadline for implementation of services according to the documentation must be analyzed as well. This evaluation is usually done by contracting specific measurement projects that allows the items above and whose operation is described in the form of Global Fixed Price.
 
From there, We have set the following three items:

  • Types of demand (estimated measurement - NESMA, detailed measurement – IFPUG, COSMIC size approaches, COSMIC measurement, development, maintenance, etc. ).
  • Price per type of demand, deadline for implementation expressed in days per size and type demand.
  • Goals of the deadline for implementation of services in relation to the documentation.

Measurement execution.
 
FATTO Software Consulting develops the measurements process from information provided by the clients, develops coaching, identifies productivity breakers and opportunities for improving and finds adjustments in operating factors.

 

Assigning Consultants

 

Our company has experienced and committed professionals that can be mobilized to manage and attend business when clients need it

 

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