ISMA 15 conference: The ‘Balloon effect’: how (an improper) Scope Management can impact from Size to Effort, Duration and Costs

ISMA 15 conference: The ‘Balloon effect’: how (an improper) Scope Management can impact from Size to Effort, Duration and Costs

Luigi Buglione (IFPUG / Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SpA)


Main Topics:

  • Defining and Managing the Project Scope: which stakeholders are you involving?
  • Scope and Boundaries in FSM methods: which potential impacts on Sizing and Estimation?
  • The ‘new’ Productivity Paradox
  • How the EAM (Entity-Attribute-Measure) analysis can help to avoid mismatching
  • The ‘Balloon Effect’: from theory to practice with some real projects examples


Benefits for Participants:

  • To analyze similar projects, using the EAM analysis
  • To de-compose better and better a UR into three possible sub-URs -> The ABC Schema
  • To apply the ABC schema to the 123 schema (a ‘methodological’ DevOps version)



The first step for properly working on a project is defining its scope, otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to understand which quantity (Q) to consider in/out of scope for the project and consequently the effort-duration (T – Time) and related cost (C) needed.

Thus, the Q->T->C logical sequence represents a project value chain helping us in better understanding for a project which could be the proper range of nominal productivity, as well as the level of elicitation of project requirements, needed for a proper project sizing and estimation, moving from the ‘ABC’ schema, a taxonomy for refining the initial Business Requirements in order to avoid the ‘scope creep’ phenomenon.

But what about if this initial activity fails or would be improperly executed? Is a FP a project or a product functional size? Does a stress test or an integration test impact on the FP calculation in order to know how many FP/man-day should be needed for determining the effort and the duration for your next project minimizing errors? Why often an organization (no matter if providers or customers) fails in estimating?

This presentation will present some of the main numerical paradoxes that risk happening daily in ICT contracts, moving from an EAM (Entity-Attribute-Measure) analysis for a typical project demonstrated by the ‘balloon effect’.

About the speaker:

Luigi Buglione is currently the IFPUG Director for Conference and Education and the President of GUFPI-ISMA (Italian Software Metrics Association) and is a Measurement & Process Improvement Specialist at Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SpA (formerly Atos Origin Italy and SchlumbergerSema) in Rome, Italy and Associate Professor at ETS Montréal, Canada. Previously, he worked at the European Software Institute (ESI) in Bilbao, Spain. Measurement Certifications: IFPUG CFPS, CSP, CSMS and COSMIC CCFL. He’s a regular speaker at international Conferences on Software/Service Measurement, Process Improvement and Quality, actively part of several International (ISO WG10-25-40, IFPUG, COSMIC, ISBSG, MAIN) and National (GUFPI-ISMA, AutomotiveSPIN Italy, AICQ, itSMF Italy) technical associations on such issues. He developed and was part of ESPRIT and of Basque Government projects on metric programs, EFQM models, the Balanced IT Scorecard and QFD for software and is a reviewer of the SWEBOK project (2004 and 2010 editions). He achieved several certifications, included IFPUG CFPS, CSP and CSMS. He received a Ph.D in Management Information Systems from LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome, Italy) and a degree cum laude in Economics from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy. Info: