Version 5.0 of the QSM's Function Point Gearing Factor table is live!
The Function Point Gearing Factor table provides average, median, minimum, and maximum gearing factors for recently completed function point projects. A gearing factor is the average number of basic work units in your chosen function unit. Originally, it was designed to be used as a common reference point for comparing different sizing metrics by mapping them to the smallest sizing unit common to all software projects. QSM recommends that organizations collect both code counts and final function point counts for completed software projects and use this data for estimates. Where there is no completed project data available for estimation, we provide customers with a starting point to help them choose an appropriate gearing factor for their chosen programming language.
For this version of the table, we looked at 2192 recently completed function point projects out of the 10,000+ in QSM's historical database. The sample included 126 different languages, 37 of which had enough data to be included in the table. Interestingly, this year we added three new languages: Brio, Cognos Impromptu Scripts, and Cross Systems Products (CSP).
One trend we noticed is that, in general, the range for gearing factors has decreased over time. Similarly, the average and median values have decreased, which we attribute to having more data to work with.