Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis

First Advisor

Daniel Ferens


The purpose of this research is to assess the perceived adequacy of the 14 general systems characteristics (GSCs) in deriving a value adjustment factor (VAF) for calculating final function point counts. Two self-administered surveys were used to collect data. Based on the survey results, it is clear that the 14 GSCs currently do not adequately represent the applications complexity required to adjust function point counts. The current GSCs remain controversial and while this research can not conclusively state that one factor is more accurate than any other, it is evident that certain GSCs are perceived to he more useful for their intended purpose. In addition, other factors may need to be considered as additions to the current GSCs. Although a reevaluation of the current GSCs individually is prudent, their controversial nature appears to be concentrated at more of a macro level. For the most part, the respondents recommendation is to leave the GSCs intact but provide better definitions and more relevant examples. Notwithstanding these results, there appears to be a strong contingent within the function point community that would prefer that the GSCs be eliminated altogether. Furthermore, there is overwhelming concern with their relevance to today's technological environment.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis. Author Vita pages are omitted.