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The Use of Function Points in Earned Value Management for Software Development

Earned Value Management Track



In this presentation, the authors detail their efforts in the development of an EVM methodology for a government software development project utilizing the International Function Point User Group (IPFUG) function point software sizing metric.

Traditionally it has been difficult to apply Earned Value Management (EVM) criteria to software development projects, as no tangible value is earned until the software is delivered to production. The process developed by the authors addresses this by application of the International Standards Organization (ISO) approved function point software sizing methodology to measure EVM during the course of the software development lifecycle. The use of SLOC to determine progress in software development is difficult, if not impossible, as there is no standard SLOC counting rules and is heavily dependent upon language, platform and individual developer skills.

This presentation describes the opportunity that was presented to the team and how a pilot program was developed to address it. The authors will address how the pilot program is currently being applied; its effectiveness as well as issues, challenges and lessons learned with the development, implementation, and sustainment of the FP based EVM process.


Ben Netherland
Cobec Consulting
Ben Netherland is a Senior Analyst with Cobec Consulting. He works on a variety of FAA programs involving voice communications, data communications, and configuration management. Ben has over 12 years of experience in cost estimation, metrics collection, integration and test, software development, and systems engineering process development, while working for Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Cobec.
For the past several years, Ben has been estimating software effort for IT projects using a variety of methods, including function point analysis and analogy. He has experience with software estimating tools including PRICE, TruePlanning, and SEER-SEM. Ben also has been involved in initiatives to establish and/or improve software estimating processes.
Ben has a BS in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and lives in the Washington D.C area.

Mike Thompson
Cobec Consulting
Mr. Thompson has been a part of the cost estimating, analysis, scheduling, and earned value community for 30 years and has worked for a number of defense contractors either as an employee or consultant (Hughes Aircraft Company, Rockwell, Northrop, and Bell Helicopter) and has done cost estimating and analysis for environmental restoration associated with BRAC efforts.
He has performed cost and scheduling activities for several consulting firms (Decision Planning Corp, Performance Management Associates, BDM, TRW, and Louis Berger International) and supported clients which include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, General Electric Aerospace, Northrop B-2 Division, E-Systems, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Delta Airlines, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, EPA, BLM, and the DoE. Notable programs include MVS, B-1B, B-2, V-22, JSF, Environmental Remediation of Midvale, UT, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the former Lockheed Skunkworks, and several Super Fund Site Clean-ups. Mr. Thompson also designed and was program manager for a Storm Water Recycling System for a Chemical Waste Management Transportation facility, which won an environmental award from the city of Benicia, California.

Currently Mr. Thompson is supporting the FAA as Director, Cost and Performance Management at Cobec Consulting. His responsibilities include providing guidance, as a Subject Matter Expert, on EVM and schedule matters. He is currently working on the Data Communications and NVS programs with the FAA. He is a member of the Interim Board of Directors for ICEAA, the ICEAA National Chaptering and Membership Chair and Chair of the ICEAA 2013 Professional Development & Training Workshop.
Mr. Thompson earned a BA from California State University, at Fullerton and has taken continuing education classes from UCLA and UC Davis.

Dan French
Cobec Consulting
Mr. French has over fifteen years of experience in a variety of Information Technology roles including application analyst, developer, tester, project management, software metrics and software project estimation. Additionally, he has developed CMMi and ISO compliant process improvement and software estimation processes.
He has been International Function Point User Group (IFPUG) member and Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) since 2000. He currently serves on the IFPUG Functional Software Sizing Committee (FSSC) and is a former member of the IFPUG conference committee. He has authored or co-authored white papers on a number of software measurement and estimation topics including the application of function point analysis to Data Warehouses and the use of function point analysis in COTS acquisitions.
He is a member of ICEAA, the Project Management Institute (PMI), the General Accounting Office (GAO) Cost Expert Group and is a Six Sigma Yellow Belt.
Mr. French holds a B.S. in Economics from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a graduate of the Chubb Institute’s Top Gun training program.