From data collected by the author during software assessment and benchmark studies there are major differences in the patterns of software tool usage between “leading” and “lagging” enterprises. Leading enterprises are defined as those in the top quartile of the companies evaluated in terms of software productivity, schedule adherence, and quality results. Lagging enterprises are those in lower quartile.
The most significant differences noted between laggards and leaders are in the areas of project management tools, quality assurance tools, and testing tools. Leaders tend to exceed laggards by a ratio of about 15 to 1 in the volumes of tools associated with project management and quality control. The function point metric is proving to be a useful analytical tool for evaluating the capacities of software tool suites.
Function point metrics provide a very useful tool for comparing and evaluating software tools in all categories. In this paper software tools are categorized as follows: