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What Counts

One of the appeals of mathematics is that everyone who correctly calculates the square root of 9 gets the same answer. Unfortunately, not all software metrics behave this way. Different people doing function point analysis can end up with significantly different numbers. To get repeatable results, elaborate counting rules are needed, and analysts must be properly trained and, preferably, certified.

Counting rules are also required for usability metrics such as Essential Efficiency, Task Consolidation, and Task Concordance, but the problems are relatively simple by comparison. Uniform results require agreement on such things as what constitutes a single user step or what is an unnecessary change of context, but these are relatively modest clerical matters that can be detailed in a few pages.


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