Estimating Real-Time Software Projects with the COSMIC Functional Size Measurement Method and the ISBSG Repository

Information Technology Track



Nowadays, software project estimation of administrative software systems has evolved into quite a mature stage. Standardized functional size measurement methods, like IFPUG and NESMA, are used to measure the functionality that the software application is going to offer to the user and this functional size is considered to be the main cost driver for administrative software projects. These methods are suitable for project estimation, because they measure the functional user requirements (which should be described before the project starts), instead of the actual delivered product (for instance source lines of code, which can only be measured after the project finished). Furthermore, there is a lot of industry data available for administrative projects (for instance in the ISBSG repository New Developments and Enhancements) and there are sophisticated estimation models available, like QSM SLIM or SEER-SEM, that help the estimator to come up with accurate estimates, even early in the project lifecycle. Estimating administrative projects in an objective and accurate way is therefore quite well possible nowadays, when the appropriate tools and skills are available.
For a long time, however, this was not true for real-time software projects. The main reason for this was the fact that the aforementioned standardized functional size measurement methods were not designed to measure the functional user requirements of real-time software. Fortunately, this has now changed. A fairly new functional size measurement method, with the name COSMIC, has arrived at the scene and this method can measure the functional user requirements of administrative software, infrastructure software, real-time software and embedded software and hybrids of these. This method is now also one of the methods that comply to the ISO norm for Functional size measurement methods. The last few years, quite a large number of projects measured in COSMIC has been submitted to the ISBSG, and therefore it is now possible to use the functional size measured in COSMIC function points and the ISBSG data measured in COSMIC to estimate real-time projects. This presentation gives insight in the possibilities that are offered by the COSMIC method, the ISBSG industry data and the current effort estimation models to estimate real-time software projects in an accurate way.


H.S. van Heeringen
Sogeti Nederland B.V.
Drs. Harold van Heeringen CFPA, works for Sogeti Nederland as a senior metrics consultant/ software cost engineer. His work is all about measuring and estimating fixed-date and fixed price software projects. Harold graduated from the university of Groningen in business economics in 1997 and he has worked in information technology ever since.
Harold is an expert in the functional sizing methods FPA and COSMIC and he is a certified practitioner in both methods. Furthermore he is an expert in different software estimation models and benchmarking practices. In his role as metrics consultant, he advises clients on how to implement Estimating & Performance Measurement processes into their organizations and he trains people in functional size measurement, project estimation and benchmarking. Next to his consulting work, he is also heavily involved in the Sogeti estimation process for fixed-price / fixed date projects. Harold is an advanced expert in using estimation tools like QSM SLIM, Galorath SEER-SEM and the ISBSG tooling.
Next to his job, Harold is also involved in a number of metrics related communities:
International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) President
Netherlands Software Metrics Association (NESMA)
board member and chairman of the working groups ‘COSMIC’, ‘ Benchmarking’ and ‘FPA in contract(ing)’
Common Software Measurement International Consortium (COSMIC)
Dutch representative in the International Advisory Council (AIC)
Dutch Association for Cost Engineers (DACE) working group parametric analysis
Harold publishes white papers and articles regularly and posts most of his presentations on slideshare. He can be reached through e-mail at harold.van.heeringen@sogeti.nl, or through the website http://metrieken.sogeti.nl. He is active on LinkedIn. Harold also shares his professional thoughts on twitter: @haroldveendam