Automated Function Points Provide Data-Driven Captives Management

by

Last month in this space I wrote about the importance of optimizing the cost-effectiveness of Captives (i.e., Global In-House Centers) by setting metrics and enhancing process transparency for better management of them. For these management methods to work, though, an organization needs to employ automated function points as a way to way to gain insight about current costs and supplied value, which can then be used to enhance received output from current or future providers.

CAST’s Lev Lesokhin underscored the importance of third-party vendor management in a recent commentary on this topic in InformationWeek’s Wall Street & Technology. In his article, he says:

At the end of the day, Wall Street CIOs cannot blame development teams or third-party vendors for their lack of insight into their application portfolios…The only way to reduce IT costs and validate outsourced work is to proactively monitor application quality standards for security, performance, and reliability before acceptance and implementation.

Proactively monitoring outsourced application development, such as that done by Captives, requires a set of metrics that can effectively track the vendor’s deliverables and measure their value along four primary objectives:

  • Improvement – determine the high-leverage targets and track progress
  • Estimation – identify sources of variation in effort and cost that predict outcomes
  • Benchmarking – assess status against competitors and internal baselines
  • Vendor management – establish a fact- and performance-based relationship

But these objectives cannot be measured subjectively. For analysis of the productivity of software development and maintenance to have any true value, it must be measured quantitatively using normalized units of production and effort – such as function points.

Function points make it possible to analyze business functions as an individual unit within an application regardless of utilized languages, development methods or the type of hardware platform. The required amount of effort for delivering individual or sets of business functions is the only variable.

Sounds great,  but as Lesokhin points out in his InformationWeek commentary, “Some IT organizations have flirted with manual function point analysis to help track the amount of ADM production over time, but it is a tedious and time-consuming process that sometimes produces a biased, and therefore untrustworthy, end result.”

In other words, “what’s the point?”

Fortunately, there are organizations that have harnessed the rules for automated function point analysis adopted by the Object Management Group (OMG), the acceptance of which was driven by CISQ. With the standards set forth by OMG for automated function point counting solutions, like CAST Application Intelligence Platform, the industry has seen increased use of functional sizing at the application and portfolio level. This in turn will lead to more effective and efficient management of IT portfolios, improved vendor management, better valuation of software assets, improved ADM performance management and a reduced ADM costs.

By using automated function points, an organization is able to step away from analyzing individual lines of code and toward a more unified approach that is capable of providing accurate measurements for each individual application. Each unit of measurement is a business function the application will perform to meet specific user needs or fulfill business requirements. Furthermore, categorization allows every business function to be properly analyzed for a meaningful score, which can then be used to further evaluate productivity, quality, and several other factors within a complex, multi-tiered relationship with Captive developers.

With the data provided through automated function points, organizations have what they need to control IT costs, maintain ADM service excellence and mitigate IT risks when working with Captives, all of which leads to benefits such as improved time to market, minimized business disruption, decreased risk and enhanced compliance…all very necessary in the drive to succeed in today’s business environment.

Get the Pulse Newsletter  Sign up for the latest Software Intelligence news Subscribe Now <>
Open source is part of almost every software capability we use today. At the  very least libraries, frameworks or databases that get used in mission critical  IT systems. In some cases entire systems being build on top of open source  foundations. Since we have been benchmarking IT software for years, we thought  we would set our sights on some of the most commonly used open source software  (OSS) projects. Software Intelligence Report <> Papers
In our 29-criteria evaluation of the static application security testing (SAST)  market, we identified the 10 most significant vendors — CAST, CA Veracode,  Checkmarx, IBM, Micro Focus, Parasoft, Rogue Wave Software, SiteLock,  SonarSource, and Synopsys — and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This  report shows how each measures up and helps security professionals make the  right choice. Forrester Wave: Static Application Security Testing, Q4 2017  Analyst Paper
This study by CAST reveals potential reasons for poor software quality that  puts businesses at risk, including clashes with management and little  understanding of system architecture. What Motivates Today’s Top Performing  Developers Survey
Jonathan Bloom Writer, Blogger & PR Consultant
Jonathan is an experienced writer with over 20 years writing about the Technology industry. Jon has written more than 750 journal and magazine articles, blogs and other materials that have been published throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has expertise in a wide range of subjects within the IT industry including software development, enterprise software, mobile, database, security, BI, SaaS/Cloud, Health Care IT and Sustainable Technology. In his free time, Jon enjoys attending sporting events, cooking, studying American history and listening to Bruce Springsteen music.
Load more reviews
Thank you for the review! Your review must be approved first
Rating
New code

You've already submitted a review for this item

|