Skip to main content

function point analysis

function point analysis A method derived originally by Albrecht at IBM to estimate the relative complexity and work content of developing a software system. The requirements of a software system are analyzed for five categories: inputs, outputs, files, interfaces, and enquiries. Each of these is then classified into parts that are simple, average, or complex. The results are represented as counts in a matrix with a total of 15 cells; each raw count is weighted by multiplying it by standard factors, and the unadjusted function point count, U, is then obtained by summing each cell-weighted value.

The processing complexity for the software is estimated for each of 14 general characteristics that cover the type of product, and how it is to be used and installed. For each characteristic a value is selected to represent its scale of influence. The 14 values are summed to give the processing complexity adjustment, PC, which will range from 0 to 70. The PC is used to calculate the adjusted function point score from its unadjusted score U. A measure of the work involved in developing the software is then obtained from a formula that allows for further score adjustments where necessary.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"function point analysis." A Dictionary of Computing. . 22 Mar. 2019 <>.

"function point analysis." A Dictionary of Computing. . (March 22, 2019).

"function point analysis." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved March 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.