Detailed Comparison SCOPE 4.1 and FPW7

  1. SCOPE maintains the Integrity of the Count Repository

    SCOPE's unique configuration control capability enables it to manage the individual functional sizing of concurrent Change Request Projects (Enhancement Counts) ensuring other counts are not overwritten when updating the master Application counts (Production Releases). This feature enables a project manager to 'size' multiple change requests on the work in progress release and track the impact of each individual CR’s count on the overall release baseline. The aggregated collection of counts can then be automatically combined to update the Production Baseline Release. This reflects 'real life' where many different business initiatives make changes to an Application within the same time frame.

    SCOPE also allows flexibility with how and when you apply your counts to the baseline e.g.:

    Cancelled Projects
    If a change request is already counted on the baseline but the project was not approved then the cancelled Count Session can be deleted in a key stroke. All impacts from the count session are removed and the integrity of the Release is retained. All other counts recorded on the same baseline will not be affected, even if they made changes to the same elementary processes or data groups.
    Postponed Projects
    If a change request needs to be counted but will not be implemented in the current Release, then it can be counted on the current Release baseline and selectively 'held over' and not incorporated into to the Production baseline when it is updated. However, it is automatically retained in the baseline count used for counting and kept up to date until a decision is made to re-instate it or get rid of it. This saves having to recount at a later date and the count in the meantime has been maintained such that it will reflect the 'latest' complexity status and the links between processes or data groups in its scope.
    Conversion Projects
    If a change request is not to be recorded in the Production count. This would occur for changes to the functionality required to be recorded at Project level but not to be implemented into the production version of an application (e.g. conversion functionality). The size of the CR can be retained in the Release project count and automatically ‘not applied’ to the Production baseline count. This saves having to selectively ‘trim’ your count prior to update.

    Automatic Synchronization of the Baseline - The ‘impacts’ from a Change Request can also be imported and exported from a baseline. The need for this would occur when someone had updated the baseline on a copy of the database, but in the meantime the original baseline had been revised. The counter can then synchronize their ‘count’ with the latest revised version of the Baseline by selecting to ‘import’ a count. SCOPE applies its intelligence to apply the impacts of the count on the revised baseline. I.e. if a process in the count is deleted it will find the process on the revised baseline count and mark it as deleted. If the process has been changed then it will be updated and marked as ‘changed’. If a new process is added then SCOPE will find the correct parent in the revised baseline count and insert the process under its correct parent.

    If you have multiple counters counting on the same baseline at the same time, they can do their counts on their own version of the database, then export them and import them into a master SCOPE database and SCOPE will manage them so the integrity of the master version is maintained.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW does not enable concurrent counts to be recorded (overlaid) on the same Release functional model. If concurrent counts are recorded on separate copies of the baselines functional model then each count has the potential to overwrite the previous one when updating the baseline resulting in a incorrect baseline count

    FPW does not allow a ‘count’ impact to be imported and merged with other counts, it only allows branches to be copied between counts or whole counts imported. Many clients report significant overhead in managing their counts to ensure that the Master Baseline is not overwritten by counts applied in the wrong sequence

    FPW does not provide functionality for multiple counters to be working on the same baseline count at the same time such that their work can be merged without the risk of overwriting

    FPW does not allow the capability of counting remotely then merging the completed count back into the ‘current’ functional model. It does not enable all the new modifications to be incorporated into the current model which may have changed content and structure since the original copy was made.

  2. SCOPE maintains ISBSG Compliant Metrics Repository for online Benchmarking and Trends Reporting

    SCOPE’s developers have worked with the International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) to develop an XML file format the ISBSG can accept for submission of projects into their database. SCOPE enables you to record all Project Effort, Defect and Environment attributes required by ISBSG for Industry benchmarking.

    create your own Benchmarking Data sets of project or maintenance and support data grouped how you want them to be reported

    select the Projects and Applications you want to send to ISBSG. SCOPE removes any identifying information and allows you to view the extracted data prior to sending via email

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW does not support a Metrics Repository of Project and Maintenance and Support performance and quality metrics data for dynamic benchmarking and trends analysis

  3. SCOPE maintains the Security and Confidentiality of the Data

    SCOPE’s unique capability to synchronise and extract counts allows the Metrics Manager to select to ‘Snapshot’ the Release Model to a separate database enabling counts to be:

    before they are merged into the current baseline so as to avoid corrupting the master data repository
    counts are only provided to other counters on a ‘needs to know’ basis. I.e. it allows the repository manager to keep the project size data of other business areas private and only accessible to the Repository Manager in the master database
    Commercially sensitive projects can be counted ‘offline’ and only if and when they are approved for public knowledge, then they can be merged back into the current baseline

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW has no ability to automatically synchronise and then merge counts done ‘offline’,as a result counts have to be manually re-applied once approved

    FPW can only apply security at the database access level and does not allow for segregation of the database and later synchronisation

  4. SCOPE reduces risk of database corruption

    SCOPE databases are easily identified and saved as a single *.FPA file that is Microsoft Access compatible. Users can use Microsoft Access to customise and create their own SCOPE reports.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW saves to a Paradox database of >40 individual files. All of these files need to be copied and transferred whenever a count database is transferred to another medium or directory using MS Explorer. This creates an issue if for some reason the transfer of just one of the tables fails, then the whole database is corrupted and irretrievable.

  5. SCOPE provides the evidence for Project Managers to charge for Rework

    SCOPE enables multiple counts to be performed on the same functional model throughout the development lifecycle. Projects often impact the same functions multiple times in project lifecycle. I.e. new functions or data groups may be added by the project then changed several times or even deleted at the users’ request. SCOPE has the unique capability to track this rework. It is able to report cumulative size of the rework in addition to the net functionality delivered (the net result of the delivered software). SCOPE also records the counters name, date and time of the creation and modification of all the count processes and data groups and allows changes to be searched on name, or date of change.

    Comparison to FPW

    Whilst FPW does report rework, it does not enable concurrent counts for the same release and it is not able to record or display online, for each process and data group, the extent of rework. FPW does not record and interactively display situations where the same process or data group is changed several times within a release by different counts or subsequently deleted in a de-scoping exercise.

  6. SCOPE makes it easy to upgrade from other tools

    SCOPE can be downloaded from the Total Metrics WWW site and installed in minutes. You can import your historical count data into the SCOPEstructure from:

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW only imports VAF, process and data group data from its own template Excel spreadsheets but any descriptions for the processes or Notes documenting the count are not able to be imported from the Excel template spreadsheet, without manual copy and pasting of text.

    FPW is not able to import any data from SCOPE

  7. SCOPE can be used by Novices

    SCOPE has a modern Windows 7 standard intuitive interface which optimises the use of Windows 'shortcuts' and function keys. All the key components of a count (Processes, Data, Notes and Attributes) have been modelled to behave identically so that once the User learns to maintain, link and report one component (which is similar to the way Windows Explorer works), they can effectively use all SCOPE functionality.

    SCOPE Viewer has proven that Users who have no function point knowledge or FP tool experience can effectively review counts and run reports in SCOPE.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW uses different structures, concepts, rules, and function keys for each of the count components (transactions, files, notes and labels) and requires the user to learn each set of unique commands to maintain each type of count component.

  8. SCOPE is more cost effective when recording counts

    SCOPE was designed by function point counters for function point counters, to make counting fast, effective, auditable and well documented. The key component to this objective was to have all features in SCOPE performed on the single main screen avoiding the time wasting tasks of navigating through overlapping multiple windows.

    SCOPE displays all four count components (Processes, Data, Notes and Attributes) as Hierarchy trees such that the majority of any tree's nodes are visible AND readable on a single screen, thus avoiding time wasted in scrolling vertically and horizontally to understand a functional breakdown.

    The split screen display allows linking of all count components to be completed with a single mouse click without changing windows.

    Data, Notes and Attributes can all be hierarchically modelled and catalogued into folders to facilitate locating them and understanding their relationships when linking to a Logical Data Group or Note to a Process. All branches within any tree can be automatically sorted in a sequence of the user’s choice.

    SCOPE has an standard Windows 'search and replace' function enabling quick up and down searches to find any text in the name or description of any count component (Process, Data, Note or Attribute).

    SCOPE allows the counter freedom to use meaningful names and descriptions that best describes any of the count components and always displays the full name without truncation.

    SCOPE provides further flexibility for ease of searching and linking by allowing the user to flip the dominant components from the left hand or right hand tree. I.e. unlike FPW it is not driven from a fixed single directional left to right ‘transaction tree' view. You can put the focus of the main window on any one of the Process, Data, Notes or Attribute Trees and then drive the count and the links from that view for ease of linking, filtering and reporting.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW's earlier style user interface requires the counter to navigate through multiple overlaying windows in order to complete a simple function such as linking a process to a new data group, over the course of a large count this can add considerable more effort and cost for a count.

    FPW limits all exposed key fields to 8 and name fields to 32 characters. Longer names are truncated when displayed in boxes. In order to see the names without having to highlight the box or increase display size, counters waste valuable time compacting and truncating the specification names used by the business to 'fit' them within space constrained by FPW's pre-sized boxes.

    FPW displays all count components other than processes as a flat list. The displayed lists can be sorted alphabetically but the order, hierarchical level and sequence cannot be customised, nor can the components be hierarchically grouped and catalogued for ease of review and maintenance of the counts.

    FPW drives everything from the Transaction hierarchy and does not cater for decomposing Data into RETs and DETs thus making the auditing, maintenance, and managing of the Files much more complex and time consuming.

    FPW does not allow the user to put the name and description for processes, thus limiting the capability to describe and document it for ease of maintenance.

  9. SCOPE is more cost effective when Maintaining and Auditing Counts

    SCOPE was designed with the concept of making it quick and easy to maintain counts of each new change request and making it easy to document and report count decisions to assist in auditing.

    SCOPE does this by providing the capability to:

    Provide an audit trail
    of who changed which tree node when that if fully searchable. Changes are highlighted using the Compare function in SCOPE
    Quickly record project changes
    (new functions, changed functions and deleted functions) with a single mouse click on pre-existing counts
    Detailed Count Reports
    that list exactly how a process was counted, not just its type and complexity (i.e. Ranges selected, numbers entered by the user or just defaulted)
    Detailed Documentation in Reports
    that list for each process which Data Groups, RETs and DETs it accesses and the type of access. (SCOPE will actually automatically derive process and data group complexity from these links to significantly reduce counting time and increase accuracy)
    Hierarchal modelling
    of Data, Notes and Attributes in addition to Functions and Elementary processes:
    SCOPE enables you to group your related data into Folders, then within a folder sort them in any order you choose and decompose them and name them at Data Group (ICF/EIF), RET and DET level and to link Processes, Notes or Attributes at any level. SCOPE models the Data hierarchically into its RETs and DETs. Processes can be optionally linked to DETs, RETs and Logical Data Groups for greater accuracy of recording and easy auditing
    SCOPE allows any comments or Notes to be grouped into SETS which can in turn be decomposed in a similar way to a Table of Contents. Notes can be of any length and arranged and re-arranged and sorted in any order. For importing your specification just copy the list and import directly from an EXCEL spreadsheet.
    SCOPE also models Attributes (key words / labels) into Categories as hierarchical trees. Attributes are not mutually exclusive i.e. Processes can be assigned more than one Attribute within a Category. Data can also be linked to Attributes.
    One step (one mouse click) linking
    of any Process, Data Group, Note or Attribute (label) without swapping windows.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW does not record who changed count components and when

    FPW requires opening up excessive windows just to link to a new File, Note or Label. For example it takes 6 mouse clicks just to link an existing file and 5 windows to add a new file and link it to the process.

    FPW requires the user to sift through ‘layers’ of windows to create links of any kind

    FPW displays both Files and Notes in a flat list of which the order and grouping can only be sorted alphabetically, their order or sequence cannot be customised. Does not display which Transactions are linked to a particular Note or File without selecting the Note or File and running a specific query.

    Without referring to the individual details reports FPW does not report how individual Processes or Data Groups were counted. FPW transaction and File list Reports only show High, Ave, or Low complexity.

    Labels in FPW can only be assigned to Transactions and not Data which provides very limited capability in profiling counts.

  10. SCOPE facilitates more Accurate and Consistent Counting

    SCOPE has an inbuilt expert system (FP Decision Maker™), designed by authors and reviewers of the IFPUG Counting Practices Manual, that steps counters through the IFPUG CPM decision logic when trying to determine the type or complexity of a function. This ensures that counters are reminded of the IFPUG guidelines and make count decisions via a consistent and auditable process.

    SCOPE has a fully indexed ROBOHELP Help system for all functionality. This help accesses the Total Metrics www site to give the user the very latest HELP for all functionality and embedded Flash Tutorials on most counting activities. Both HELP and the Tutorials are updated every SCOPE Release and because it is online is updated dynamically whenever we identify another area where it can provide assistance.

    SCOPE allows individual users to customise SCOPE to operate with their own user counting and display options and defaults. This flexibility in customisation includes being able to dynamically switch between 10 languages (e.g. French, Italian, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese etc.) which dynamically changes the language in which the screens and messages will display.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW does not provide any automated counting assistance

    FPW does not enable users in to operate the software in their language of choice or dynamically switch between languages

  11. SCOPE counts are more understandable by the Business Users

    SCOPE's way of recording functional size takes into account the way we develop software today i.e. It recognises the way it structures its Applications, Release, Projects and Counts such that:

    SCOPE enables a Project to record multiple Impacts across multiple Applications and aggregate Function Point size, at Change Request, Application Level, Release Level and at Project Level.

    SCOPE can record multiple Impacts from multiple projects on an Application concurrently and be able to maintain and report the different Project Impacts independently.

    SCOPE's flexibility allows it to respond to changing project implementation decisions by being able to record the Project Impact on an Application AND be able to decide to not apply it, or to remove it or to hold it over to be applied again at a later date when the project is approved or restarted.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW has a linear relationship between software activities and does not provide:

  12. SCOPE makes Count Results freely accessible

    SCOPE has advanced cross-referencing and reporting functionality to enable you to easily do online ‘what-if’ analysis and produce up to 40 different reports instantly.

    SCOPE central repository of counts is able to be accessed concurrently by multiple SCOPE users. Previewed reports, if accepted, can be printed or saved to a file or emailed.

    SCOPE allows you to select to export the report to Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel or HTML, print or preview.

    SCOPE reports, Baseline Size, Reworked Size and Current Count Size dynamically at the bottom of the screen as you move through the functional model.

    Full Detailed Management Reports are generated online within seconds in print preview mode. The Count Detail Reports actually report the level of detail that a process or data group was counted. E.g. displays the ranges, or actual number of RETs or DETS. This is useful for auditing count results.

    SCOPE allows you to extract your count using the SnapShot option to send the full count details to a client. The client can then download SCOPE Viewer free from the Total Metrics WWW site and install it so they can investigate all aspects of the count, print all reports or provide comments and send it back in softcopy to the counter.

    Comparison to FPW

    FPW has only one summary function point count report that can be selected to be displayed. The other Detailed Function Point Counting reports need to be printed as hard copy or 'published' by saving to a file. To view the 'published' information online requires the output report to be first named and saved to an XML file, then opened. This sequence takes several steps to complete in order to view the information.If the report indicates an error or omission in the count, the count needs to be fixed, and then all the steps in the publishing process repeated.

    Download your evaluation copy of SCOPE today and start counting and see the differences for yourself!