Grant Rule

Grant Rule

We have recently lost a special and influential leader in the Software Metrics industry: Grant Rule.

Grant Rule was a unique and exceptional talent who was widely known in the Metrics Community. He read voraciously and was deeply knowledgeable about software engineering and always interested in the latest developments. He was associated with UKSMA from the early days, a member for several years of the IFPUG Counting Practices Committee and of the Editorial Board of ‘IEEE Software’, a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a fellow of the Royal Society for arts. He was a founder member of COSMIC, and a great contributor to the development and success of the method. In recent years he had become heavily involved in the Lean/Kanban and Agile communities.

Grant looked like he was made to sit astride a Harley-Davidson but he had nothing in common with a roughneck. He was a gentle and kind man. He never swore, which is remarkable in this macho age. He is the only person I know who began all his e-mails with ‘I trust all is well with you and yours’ – and he meant it! He wrote beautifully clear English and gave great presentations. Probably thousands of people have benefited from his insights over the years.

He was an authority on Roman history and for relaxation played and sang folk music with his family group, around local pubs and festivals. Being Grant he didn’t play just an ordinary guitar, he played the Appalachian dulcimer. He was very active in his local community and dabbled in archery. But he especially loved to go sailing in Devon. It is a terrible irony and so tragic that it was there he met his death.

We will miss him deeply and our thoughts go to his wife Sue and to his family.

William J. Hufschmidt

William J. Hufschmidt
December 15, 2010

We are all sad to lose our dear Bill. Bill was a true believer in Function Points and IFPUG from the very beginning. He served as IFPUG’s first president in 1987. He was a tireless volunteer, a friend and mentor to everyone he came in contact with. The friendly smiling “button man” was always willing to help and volunteered thousands of hours on multiple committees over the many years. IFPUG conferences will not be the same without our “button man”.

Allan J. Albrecht

Allan J. Albrecht
1927 – 2010

Allan J. Albrecht, the father of Function Points, passed away on November 10, 2010. Even though most Function Point counters never met him, he has inspired many measurement professionals. Even those that do not use Function Points recognize the relevance of Allan’s contribution to software engineering and measurement. Some have even created competing techniques based on his ideas. His colleague and Function Point pioneer John Gaffney, recipient of a recent USC Lifetime Achievement Award, said:

“I had the pleasure of working a bit with Allan in the early ’80s. I met him in connection with the preparation for a conference. He was very pleasant to work with and was quite modest. He developed the function point metric in response to a business need, to enable IBM customers for application software to state their requirements in a way that reflected the function of a proposed software system in terms that they could readily deal with, not the more technical language, e.g., SLOC counts, of the software developers. This was truly a major step forward in the state of the art, and in the state of practice of our profession.”

One may speculate that when Allan invented Function Points he never imagined there would be an organization dedicated to his technique and that Function Points would be used by a large user community spread around several countries.

Allan Albrecht’s ideas shaped many careers. Some of us have dedicated most of our professional lives to Allan’s intellectual creation. We are all thankful and wish him peace.

Obituary (please see

Allan J. Albrecht, 83, of Morehead City, died Wednesday, November 10, 2010, at home. He was born on February 6, 1927, in Pittston, PA, to Arthur Carl and Edna Louise (Boldt) Albrecht. Mr. Albrecht served in the United States Navy during World War II. He married his wife of 61 years, Jean Carol Herman, on January 30, 1949, at Peace Lutheran Church, Scranton, PA.

He graduated from Bucknell University in 1949 with a BSEE degree. He had a long, 38-year career with IBM, starting in 1949. His career included assignments in York, PA as a Field Engineer; Poughkeepsie, NY as a Design Engineer; Kingston, NY as a Development Engineer in IBM Federal Systems Division; Los Angeles, CA as a Project Manager in IBM Data Processing Services, Portland, OR as a Project Manager, White Plains, NY as a Program Manager; and completing his career in Armonk, NY as an IBM Senior Technical Staff Member.

While in the Federal Systems division, he worked on many military computer systems, including the SAGE missile defense system. In IBM Data Processing Services, he invented Function Points. He spoke at many conferences around the world to teach others about Function Points. Even after retirement, he continued to consult on Functions Points, through association with Capers Jones and SPR Corp. The International Function Point User Group carries on promoting and encouraging the use of Function Points with over 1,400 member organizations world-wide.

Upon retirement in 1989, He and Jean moved to Orleans, MA on Cape Cod to enjoy golf and sailing and maintaining his 37’ Herreshoff designed Meadowlark leeboard sailing ketch called Gyrovegas. He was the president of the Mayflower Point Association for over 10 years.

In 1999, Allan and Jean moved to Morehead City, NC to be closer to their children (and live in a warmer climate). He continued his enjoyment of golf with membership in the Brandywine Bay golf club and friendly competition with fellow golf enthusiasts. Gyrovegas also made the move and was ideal for sailing in the shallow waters of the NC bays.