November 2019 Newsletter

Benchmarking Your Project

How often have you worked on a software project that has run behind schedule or over budget? It would be surprising to hear you say “No! Never!”  Most of us have experienced the urgency associated with a “late” project; where throwing more resources at the project pushes up the costs but doesn’t help in meeting deadlines.

The Benefits of Benchmarking

This is where Benchmarking can help, particularly during the planning phase.  Benchmarking involves comparing your project against similar IT projects.  Ideally, they should originate from companies that employ “best practice” methodologies.  

Benchmarking enables you to validate your project estimations, and if necessary, readjust timeframes and goals. It gives you feedback on how your project’s proposed performance compares to others in the industry. It highlights areas that require improvement, in terms of effort and cost.  These improvements can be applied to current and future projects. 

What to Use as a Benchmark

Historical IT project data is a good resource for benchmarking.

ISBSG has data for more than 9,100 Development & Enhancement projects that are used for benchmarking.  These projects are verified and validated by ISBSG. They are submitted by IT and metrics organisations from around the world and cover a range of industries and business types.

Learn more about ISBSG Data.

How to Benchmark

Before you can benchmark your project, you must first determine its size. Function Points (FP) are commonly used to measure software size. Refer to ISBSG Sizing for more information about Function Points and sizing.

You are then ready to benchmark you project against similar projects from the ISBSG Data. Consider important metrics for comparison, such as:

  • Project delivery rate (hours spent per function point)
  • Defect density (defects per function point)
  • Speed of delivery (functional size units per elapsed month)
  • Cost per function point

Benchmark Results

Benchmarking highlights problems and areas that require improvement.  It enables you to formulate a plan to address these concerns and then measure your improvement in future projects. 

For more information about Benchmarking, visit ISBSG Benchmarking.



Important Announcment – SNAP

The International Function Point User Group (IFPUG) is pleased to report that its functional sizing method, SNAP, is now an official, world-wide standard.  SNAP (Software Non-functional Assessment Process) measures the non-functional requirements of IT projects. Learn more.

IFPUG Acquires New FP Counting Method

IFPUG will add a new function point counting method to its portfolio, in the coming months. The Simple Function Points method (SiFP) enables function point analysis (FPA) to be performed quickly and easily. It can be done in the early stages of the project. Find out more.

Get your free copy of MetricViews – the magazine for IT professionals

The latest edition of MetricViews is now available. The focus of this edition is Software Quality.  IT leaders and experts share their insights on topics such as:

  • Understanding and Quality for your Organisation
  • Agile Quality metrics
  • Agile Testing Methods
  • Solutions for Tracking and Moving


FiSMA’s Top 10 Software Metrics

Software metrics are measures of specific project attributes (eg. project size, effort, defects).

Improve you project’s productivity, quality and performance by using software metrics.  Set business goals based on the metrics you aim to achieve within your project.    

Finnish metric group, FiSMA, recently listed its 10 most important software metrics. This includes measures of user satisfaction, cost effectiveness, speed of delivery and more. 

Read the FiSMA Newsletter and learn more about FiSMA’s “Top 10 Software Metrics”.


IWSM Conference Highlights

The 2019 International Workshop of Statistical Modelling was recently held in October 2019.  The topic of the conference was “the Future of IT Cost Estimation”, with a focus on Software Cost Estimation.  The conference was declared a “success” by attendees, from 20 countries, and organiser, NESMA.

There were presentations from international speakers, many opportunities for networking and the option to become a certified Software Cost Estimator via the sCEBoK training modules.

Improve your software cost estimation skills 

The pressure for more efficient software development (Agile), maintenance (DevOps) and the delivery of an appropriate level of quality is constantly increasing. Software Cost Estimation is a key discipline to manage and control the budget of IT projects. 

Below you can find the links to all relevant information related to the IWSM conference:

  • Presentations and additional material can be found via this link
  • The scientific proceedings of the conference are published here
  • Pictures of the conference are available here

Learn more about the IWSM conference for 2020 – here on Youtube


NESMA  – New guidelines for IT contracts 

Contracting of software development projects and maintenance continues to be a difficult task for many organizations. They struggle to determine which questions they need to ask in the ´Request for Proposal (RFP)’ and contracting phases. 

New guides related to software metrics in contracts, have been published. You can view and buy the guides on the Nesma website. On the checkout page, a discount will be given based on your membership profile. View the guides here


GUFPII-ISMA 3rd Evento Metrico in Padua

GUFPI-ISMA ( is organizing the 3rd Evento Metrico 2019 that will be held on Nov 29, 2019 in Padua (Italy).  Padua is a lovely city west of Venice with many interesting attractions. 

The conference will be held at:  University of Padova – Department of Mathematics (Via Luigi Luzzati 8, 35121) from 09:30 to 16:30.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • How to measure and deal with Requirements and Testing
  • Counting experiences with IFPUG SNAP
  • Introduction to the COSMIC FPA method and much more.

The conference is free of charge for GUFPI-ISMA members, while non-members pay a 50EUR+VAT22% fee and can claim 5 PDUs (valid for the PMI CCR program)

An event program will be published soon.  For more information, write to

Why don’t you extend your stay in Padua?  On Saturday Nov 30, we’ll hold a cultural event, called ‘Evento Differente’. A guided visit to the “Cappella degli Scrovegni” has been organized, This is one of Giotto’s masterpieces. Find out more and register for this event.

Save the dates and join us in Padua.


Let the ISBSG Data help the management of your project

The ISBSG Data consists of 9,178 development projects, releases and series of sprints.  Academics from international universities use the ISBSG data as a basis for their research papers and projects.  Organisations from around the world trust the ISBSG data to assist them with the planning of their IT projects.

Compare your project against similar projects from the ISBSG Data to evaluate its performance. Use these benchmarks to improve productivity and reduce costs. 

About the International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG)

The ISBSG is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1997 by a group of national software metrics associations. Their aim was to promote the use of IT industry data to improve software processes and products.

The ISBSG mission is to help YOU and your organization improve the estimation, planning, control and management of your IT software projects and/or maintenance and support contracts.

To achieve this ISBSG maintains and grows 2 repositories of IT software development/maintenance & support data. This data originates from trusted, international IT organizations. Learn more about the ISBSG data.