IWSM 2018 Forums Sizing Sizing – COSMIC COSMIC Guide: Assuring accuracy of measurements

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    NB: The following forum entry is copied from the Nesma forum listed on the previous Nesma site. If the topic is still current is not checked!

    This Guideline provides an overview of the factors that influence the quality of a functional size
    measurement, particularly a COSMIC size measurement, and advises how to organize the
    measurement process so as to obtain accurate size measurements and/or to improve measurement
    accuracy.

    Quality assurance actions aim to improve quality and to help achieve desired quality levels. In our
    case a measurer’s quality aim will be to achieve a desired measurement accuracy level.
    The desired accuracy of a measurement (see below for the definition of ‘accuracy’) will probably vary
    with the project circumstances. Early in the life of a new software project, only an approximate
    estimate of size may be possible, but it may still be of acceptable accuracy. At the other extreme, e.g.
    in the context of outsourced software contracts where a measurement may at some time become a
    matter of legal dispute, highly accurate measurements are likely to be essential.
    In order to assure the desired accuracy of measurements, it is important to have both well-trained and
    experienced measurers and an adequate and repeatable measurement process. Audits are also
    necessary to check and to assure on-going accuracy.
    In managing the measurement process, two main quality control efforts are essential. They are, in
    order of importance:
    · Error-prevention,
    · Defect-detection.

    Error-prevention efforts concern three main factors1, namely assuring the:
    · Quality of the measurer(s)
    · Quality of the software artifacts
    · Quality of the measurement process
    Defect-detection that only identifies defects may not help much to prevent their re-occurrence. Rather,
    audits should identify defects and determine the causes of the defects that have been made when
    measuring. Systematically determining the root conditions and analyzing the causes of defects will
    encourage those responsible to improve the measurement process and in future avoid time wasted in
    audits and defect corrections.

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