Nesma homepage Forums Sizing Definition of (application) Maintenance

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    Marten Eisma

    This topic was originally posted as a reply to FPA and Maintenance in the Sizing – other methods subforum.

    What I miss, is the definition of (Application Maintenance). When developing a new application this is clear. All effort to get the new application / functionality into production.

    But application maintenance is more. Functionality is in production and users want to use the software and see adaptions as just a part of the production. With other words, I think one of the problems is that application maintenance is more than just changes. It includes:
    – corrective maintenance (wrong ticket handing, defect ticket handling, defect analysis, bug fixing, incident analysis, emergency patching, problem management (root cause analysis, resolution and RFC initiating, 3 level support
    – preventive maintenance (monitoring system, incident logging, clean up scripts, installing updates and patches for standard operating systems / software packages
    adaptive maintenance (identifying enhancement requirements, performing impact analysis)
    – perfective enhancements
    – environment support (release planning, OTAP support / transitions, back up/ restore, deployments
    – user support and small enhancements

    I think first should be made clear what is AM / IM and then we can start the discussion if FPA delivers correct metrics.

    Jolijn Onvlee

    Hi Marten,
    You are right that you must differentiate between the different types of activities covered under maintenance. It is to make the following distinction:
    1. activities that changes the functionality of the application (so called adaptive maintenance) and
    2. activities to be carried out in order to keep the system operational (corrective and preventive maintenance etc.).

    In the first case you can apply FPA when changes are made in a release (enhancement project function point count). Purpose of the FPA is estimating the release or measuring the productivity of the functional enhancements project. Enhancement projects can involve adds, changes to and deletion of existing functionality. Enhancement functionality shall be measured in accordance with the following.
    • Count data functions that are added, changed or deleted
    • Count transactional functions that are added, changed or deleted

    For measuring productivity and setting the budget in the second case you take the measure of the functionality that an application provides to the user, determined by the application function point count. The hours you must measure for a longer period eg half a year to determine the productivity figures.

    Hope this will help,
    Jolijn Onvlee
    Onvlee Opleidingen & Advies (

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