August 2018 Newsletter

Software Cost Estimation – finally a real profession!

Estimation maturity processes on average are still quite low in the Software industry. Large sums of money continue to be wasted because projects were not estimated professionally, resulting in cost and schedule overruns.

One of the issues across all of industry is the fact that the software cost estimator is often not a recognized profession. In many organizations, estimates are based on experience and opinions of biased human experts, instead of being based upon relevant historical data and parametric models.

Nesma and ICEAA (International Cost Estimation and Analysis Association) are working together to create a training curriculum and certification for ‘Software Cost Estimator’, a professional role for estimating software related activities and products.

In cooperation with several supporting organizations, including ISBSG, and professionals in the industry, Nesma and ICEAA have been working together to develop a Software Cost Estimation Body of Knowledge (sCEBoK). In line with the training and certification programs ICEAA already has for cost estimation, the goal is to develop a training and certification program specifically for the software cost estimator. The plan is to have the first professional software cost estimators certified next year at the ICEAA conference in May 2019 in Tampa, FL and at the IWSM conference in November 2019 in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

For more information, please check:


Visit the new Nesma website!

Nesma has launched a new website! Visit our new website via or take a look at the video for a preview


Nesma Fall Conference – Call for Presentations

Nesma invites you to contribute as speaker to the annual autumn conference on 15 November 2018.

If you would like to share your experiences, thoughts, research results or other information on the theme: “AGILE DELIVERIES; ESTIMATES OR NO ESTIMATES? THAT IS THE QUESTION”, please send an abstract of 150 – 200 words before 21 September 2018 to:

  • Conference date: 15 November 2018
  • Location: De Soester Duinen, Soesterbergsestraat 188, 3768 MD Soest, The Netherlands
  • Conference: 00 pm – 6.00 pm
  • Network drinks + Dinner: 00 pm – 9.00 pm

For speakers, no fee is required for the event and the event dinner.


We’re counting down to the 2018 IT Confidence Conference 

CNMES18 – The National Congress of Measurement and Estimation of Software will take place on September 11th 2018 in Mexico.

This will be followed by the 2018 IT Confidence Conference on 12th September.  Come along and hear presentations by experienced and well-respected leaders from the IT industry.  These include:

  • “Cost & Risk Analysis of  Managing Modernization Projects With Cloud and Open Source Considerations“  by Dan Galorath (CEO of Galorath Incorporated)
  • “Agile & FSM Methods Go Well Together!”  by Diana Baklizky, CFPS, CSP, CCFL, SA (SAFe Agilist TI MÉTRICAS Ltda.)
  •  “Patterns as a quick way to estimate new projects with few information”  by Jean-Marc Desharnais (Adjunct professor, Software Engineering and IT department – ETS)

We look forward to seeing you in Mexico!!

New Release of ISBSG Development & Enhancement Data for 2018

ISBSG is pleased to announce the new release of the Development & Enhancement data repository for 2018..

The number of new development projects, releases and series of sprints is now over 8200.

Use the latest release of the ISBSG data for:

  • improved software project estimation
  • reality checks of proposals
  • better project control
  • scope management
  • (supplier) performance measurement
  • effective benchmarking and research

ISBSG data helps organizations to make better decisions, based on objective data instead of subjective opinions. Through the years, many organizations have used the ISBSG data to select the right outsourcing partners, support  critical planning decisions and avoid software “horror stories”.

The ISBSG Development & Enhancement data can be purchased on its own or as part of a Corporate Subscriptions.

December 2017 Newsletter

The New Release of the ISBSG Data is Coming!

ISBSG is excited to announce the new release of the Development & Enhancement (D&E) data in January 2018.

ISBSG Corporate subscribers will be sent the new release of the data, as part of their subscription.  Find out how you can enjoy the benefits of a Corporate Subscription – click here.

Would you like to know how the ISBSG D&E data can help improve the planning and estimation of your IT project?  Browse now.

Save 40% When You Renew Your D&E Data License

We are pleased to announce a generous discount for customers who wish to renew their D&E Data licenses.

D&E Data License renewals will now cost $1,800 (AUD), which is a 40% discount off the regular price of $3,000(AUD)**. This offer applies to renewals that occur immediately after the expiry of the previous license.

**Note: D&E Data Licenses will increase in price to $3,000 at the 1st January 2018.

Submit Your Agile Projects

According to the Harvard Business Review:

     “Agile innovation methods have revolutionized information technology. Over the past 25 to 30 years they have greatly increased success rates in software development, improved quality and speed to market, and boosted the motivation and productivity of IT teams.”

With this in mind, we would like to expand our growing collection of Agile projects in the ISBSG Data Repository.  We invite you to submit your Agile projects to us.  We guarantee your anonymity and offer ‘rewards’ for submissions of Agile and all other projects.

For information on how to submit your data to ISBSG, click here .

Browse IT Metrics Presentations

ISBSG invite you to browse and download presentations from the 2018 Beijing IT Confidence Conference. These papers and articles were presented by experts from the IT Metrics industry from around the world.

Presentation titles and their presenters/organisations are listed below:

  • Software Project Benchmarking & Estimation: Contribution of COSMIC FPs   – Alain Abran (COSMIC)
  • Create Cost Savings Using Size Measure   – Christine Green  (IFPUG)
  • From Data to Insight   –  Thomas Gordijn (Metri/ISBSG)
  • Improve Your Estimation Maturity Using Functional Size Measurement and Industry Data   –  Harold van Heeringen  (Metri/ISBSG) 
  • Planning and Managing Modernization Projects with Fewer Resources/Budget   –  Galorath
  • Software Rates vs Function Point Price   – Rafael de la Fuente, Dácil Castelo, Raúl Fernández  (LEDAmc)
  • Simulation Models Based on ISBSG Data   –  Milan Rao  (Mindtree)
  • Measuring the sustainability of FLOSS Ecosystem   –  Minghui Zhou (Associate Professor)

Browse presentations here.

November 2017 Newsletter

Estimating the Required Team Size of Agile Teams

ISBSG has created a new section of the website dedicated to Agile called “Agile Corner“.  A recent addition is a free report on How to Estimate the Required Team Size of Agile Teams .

This is the first in a series of tutorials on how to use ISBSG data for processes regarding Agile software development.

In the Agile Corner we also discuss:

  • productivity measurement within Agile teams
  • why it is hard to measure productivity
  • a few productivity measurement myths busted.

ISBSG has 169 Agile projects in the Development and Enhancement Repository.  The table at the bottom of the dedicated Agile Corner shows the breakdown by Language and Industry Sector.

ISBSG data helps you to make better decisions, based on objective data instead of subjective opinions.


The ISBSG Data Repository

The ISBSG Data Repository for 2018 can be purchased stand-alone or as part of a Corporate Subscription.   Corporate subscribers receive the data as well as data updates as part of their subscription.  Other benefits of being a corporate subscriber include:

  • a copy of the ISBSG Maintenance & Support Repository
  • demographic reports for both repositories
  • access to all ISBSG Special Analysis reports
  • a 12 month subscription to the new ISBSG Productivity Data Query
  • a report of your choice – you name the topic
  • 10% discount on all ISBSG products and services.

IT Confidence Conference 2017

The 2017 IT Confidence Conference was hosted by Gold partner China Software Process Improvement (China SPI) during September in Beijing.

Presenters from IT Metrics organisations made presentations on topics such as project planning, estimation and cost-saving.

View all 2017 Confidence Conference Presentations.

Percentage of successful IT projects worldwide is still too low…

René Notten, CEO of Metrics Quest, looks at this important issue.  He briefly discusses strategies that can be used to improve the outcome of your project.

Refer to article written by René: Percentage of Successful IT Projects.

News from the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG)

ISMA14, the IFPUG conference event celebrating our 30th anniversary, was held from September 13-15, 2017 in Cleveland, OH, USA.  Three workshops and a full-day conference, featuring industry advancements with Function Points and SNAP Points, led to lively discussions and networking opportunities.

Measurement guru Capers Jones’ enlightened us with research findings from his latest FP-based book.  He challenged us to think beyond traditional measures, and announced that ISMA14 was his” swan song” (final public appearance).

Attendees were impressed with both the array of workshops (early project estimation using Function Point (FP) Analysis and SNAP, and the application of FP rules to new, emerging technologies) as well as the lineup of global speakers.

ISMA14, opened by Capers Jones, gave us the opportunity to discuss a myriad of measurement based topics.  This included:  FPA and IoT (the Internet of Things), industrial based best practices for FP counting, the value of a formalized cost estimation based on software size and practical advice from Brazil about how to succeed with counting NFRs (Non-Functional Requirements.)

Members can freely access all presentations in the ‘Knowledge Base’ section of the website (select ‘ISMA14’ from the ‘Category’ combo-box.)

IFPUG’s bylaws were officialized in 1987 in Ohio, USA (now headquartered in NJ, USA).  Returning to our roots in Cleveland, was a homecoming of sorts.  IFPUG, as one of the first formal and mature measurement organizations has stood the test of time>  It has inspired many other Functional Size Measurement Methods and measurement groups since its inception.  The IFPUG method itself was the first FSMM to be published as an ISO/IEC standard, and since then, another 4 ISO/IEC conformant methods have been standardized and published by ISO/IEC.

In the past 18 months, IFPUG donated both resources and energy to our collaboration with COSMIC and NESMA.  This enabled the development of two major deliverables:

  1. Non-functional sizing glossary
  2. A joint paper on how to address agile development using functional size measurement.

These two results show how a spirit of collaboration between IFPUG and other measurement organizations holds great promise for advancements in software measurement and the mainstream adoption of functional size measurement.

As we round out 2017 as the International Year of Software Measurement (#IYSM) and IFPUG’s 30th anniversary, we are thankful for the support of our members, as well as our colleagues and friends at ISBSG and other measurement organizations.  Their friendship and support are important to the growth of Functional Size Measurement globally.

Please consider joining us for the next ISMA (International Software Measurement and Analysis) conference (#ISMA15) scheduled for Rome, Italy from May 8-11, 2018.

New Release of Report – Project Planning (for different project phases)

The 2017 version of the Project Planning (Phase Ratios) report has just been released.

Would you like to benchmark the effort allocated to the phases of your project?  This report provides a valuable insight into the effort ratios spent on each project phase, using projects from the ISBSG Repository.

Both Enhancement projects and New Development projects are discussed. Statistics for Agile projects are also included in this report.




Free Agile Report Offer

ISBSG is pleased to offer you a copy of our short report –  How to Estimate the Required Team Size of Agile Teams. Read more about this offer now.

ISBSG and LEDAmc at the Madrid, Spain at the expo:QA’17


ISBSG and LEDAmc Presented

In Madrid, Spain at the 

The expo:QA’17 conference took place mid June in Madrid, Spain with more than 400 participants (from more than 200 different companies)  that come from 22 different countries.

The conference program was like a big candy store with everything that you could dream off about testing. With more than 40 presentations, Masterclasses and workshops with presenters from both Spain and international as well as a big exhibition area – the expo:QA’17 was a big event.

LEDAmc – a Gold partner of ISBSG – was sponsor at the conference and was well represented both in the exhibition area and as a presenter at the conference.

Christine Green –ISBSG Board member was invited by LEDAmc to promote and share the ISBSG purpose and products.

Ignacio Lopez – the Director of the Risk Governance Area at LEDAmc did an excellent presentation with the title

Comparisons Are Not Negative 

“Comparisons are not always negative” is a direct reference to the fact that it is very productive to use benchmark industry data to compare Functional Quality. As Ignacio states in the presentation abstract:

“In a world as global as the one we live in, it is necessary to know our position in the market.  Some comparisons are negative but others are necessary.  The important thing is to have a clear objective.”

LEDAmc’s presentation differ from other presentations at the EXPO:QA due to the fact that it focused on the performance and estimating of the testing as a service or separate project using benchmark data.

At the EXPO:QA exhibition LEDAmc booth the promotion and communication about both ISBSG and LEDAmc’s usage of benchmark data continued. A lot of participants at the conference went by the LEDAmc both to both hear more.

See more about LEDAmc’s presentation and download a version of it from:

Mexican Association of Software Metrics (AMMS) Joins ISBSG as a Gold Partner

ISBSG Welcomes the  Mexican Association of Software Metrics (AMMS) as a Gold Partner.

The mission of the Mexican Association of Software Metrics (AMMS) ( is:

          To assist IT professionals within the software development industry in Mexico. This is achieved by providing services for the promotion, collection, reference, and dissemination of software-related metrics.  This is carried out in areas that are useful to professionals involved in the Software Development.


The AMMS has achieved the following:

  • April 2015:  The Mexican Association of Software Metrics (AMMS) is created.
  • September 2015:  The 1st National Congress of Software Measurement and Estimating (CNMES15) takes place.
  • 2016:  The 1st Baseline Study about Productivity and Cost of the Mexican Software Development Industry is developed.
  • May 2017:  The 2nd National Congress of Measurement and Software Estimating (CNMES17) takes place.
  • 2017:  The results of the 1st Baseline Study about Productivity and Cost of the Mexican Software Development Industry, are presented at the CNMES17.


March 2017 Newsletter

The Joint 13th CSI/IFPUG International Software Measurement & Analysis (ISMA13) Conference

Mumbai March 6, 2017

John Ogilvie, ISBSG CEO, presented at the conference on “Using functional sizing to improve business success” and conducted a workshop on “Effective Applications Development Benchmarking”.


Using IFPUG Functional Sizing and Historical Data to Improve Business Success

The presentation demonstrates the business value of sizing using IFPUG Function Points using 3 examples

  • “Reality Check” of Project Estimates
  • Assessing Organizational Competitiveness
  • Supplier Assessment in the Request for Fixed Price Proposal process

Click here to view the presentation


Applications Development Benchmarking

Benchmarking the Applications Development, Maintenance and Support (AD/M)  Environment can potentially provide significant insights into the performance of  IT processes and identify how and where they can be most effectively improved.  However, many organisations initiate a Benchmarking Activity, without first fully determining the objective of the benchmark, the benefits they hope to achieve, or establishing the criteria by which projects and applications will be selected and compared.

This Workshop explores the reasons why organisations choose to benchmark.  It identifies the potential benefits of benchmarking, and highlights the pitfalls of failing to appropriately plan the benchmarking activity or introduce rigor into the benchmarking process to ensure its success.

Click here to view the workshop materials.


ISBSG and China SPI start a data collection and analysis partnership

ISBSG and China SPI intend to support each other in data collection and analysis. China SPI is now the official data and analysis partner of ISBSG in the greater China.

Both parties will support each other in data collection initiatives, data analysis and the publishing of new analysis reports. China SPI will also translate the current special analysis reports of ISBSG into the Chinese language.

ISBSG is confident that this partnership will result in a significant increase in available data in the existing repositories and in special analysis reports.


ISBSG starts collecting data with online questionnaires

ISBSG is facilitating its collection of data. This is assist people who want to submit data, but don’t wish to go through the lengthy data collection questionnaires on paper. Short versions of the questionnaires are now available online! If you have some project data, please submit and get a free benchmark report in return!

Review the New Developments or Enhancements survey.

Review the Maintenance & Support survey.

Data can also be submitted in tool formats, such as QSM SLIM datamanager, SEER_SEM database and even plain Excel files.

Check for more ways to submit project data, for instance for bulk submissions.


New repositories?!?!

ISBSG is currently investigating the creation of additional data collection questionnaires and repositories to better service the needs of the industry. We are planning to start a ‘technical metrics’ repository, where technical metrics of source code, measured with tools like Sonarqube, CAST, SIG, Omnext and others are stored in a standardized way, together with the main application characteristics. This will enable people to benchmark the results of software source code quality measurement against the industry.

If you have a good idea for other new repositories, please let us know through


Software project cost and hourly rates

Project costs can be analyzed from two perspectives: cost per function point, and cost per hour. This report analyzes the projects in the ISBSG Development and Enhancement Repository (March 2016 Release) that provide cost data, from both of those perspectives. For this report, we have focused on 732 projects in the Repository, for which the size, effort and cost data are comparable and reliable. Purchase the Software Project Costs and Hourly Rates report now.

China SPI hosts the 2017 IT Confidence Conference and ISBSG workshop

The 2017 IT Confidence and ISBSG workshop will be hosted by Gold partner China Software Process Improvement (China SPI) in September in Beijing. ISBSG is looking forward to return to China 9 years after the successful event in Nanjing (2008). The Call for Presentations and the IT Confidence 2017 website with all information regarding the event will be published soon.

Cosmic Joins ISBSG as a Bronze Partner

We are pleased to announce that the COSMIC organization joined the ISBSG as a Bronze Partner.

COSMIC is the organization that created and maintains the COSMIC functional size measurement method.  COSMIC is one of the six functional size measurement methods that comply to the ISO/IEC 14143 standard for functional size measurement.

Currently the ISBSG ‘Developments & Enhancements’ repository contains about 500 projects measured in the COSMIC method and we are confident that the partnership will result in a significant increase of this number.

ISBSG offers an online questionnaire for COSMIC project submissions

For more information about the COSMIC organization and the method, please visit the COSMIC website.


New Special Analysis Report: The impact of software size on productivity

In 2013, ISBSG, Capers Jones and Reifer Consultants analyzed the impact of software size on the productivity of a project. This revealed the factors that can provide economy of scale. Now ISBSG has published a follow-up report that analyzes the impact of software size on productivity based on 1139 competed projects. It turns out that there is a clear statistical correlation between project size and productivity.  This is is extremely helpful for project, release and (sets of) sprints estimation or benchmarking.

This analysis report can now be purchased against a discounted price of only 29 AUD.
To purchase the report click here

China SPI hosts the 2017 IT Confidence Conference and ISBSG workshop

The 2017 IT Confidence and ISBSG workshop will be hosted by Gold partner China Software Process Improvement (China SPI) in September in Beijing. ISBSG is looking forward to return to China 9 years after the successful event in Nanjing (2008).

Go to the IT Confidence Conference 2017 web page for more information on the event.