Environment Complexity Factors

Environment Complexity Factors (ECFs) are used in the Use Case Metrics estimation technique.

The EABase.eap model contains a default set of ECFs, which you can add to or modify using the 'Estimation Factors' dialog. This set of factors should include all factors that could affect the general design and development environment, including team experience and knowledge, team size, expertise and other non-functional environmental factors.

Access Project | Settings | Project Types | Estimation Factors > Environment Complexity Factors

Maintain Environment Complexity Factors



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On the 'Environment Complexity Factors' tab, either:

  • Click on the New button to add another ECF, or
  • Click on the required factor in the 'Defined Environment Types' list to edit it (go to step 3)


In the 'Factor Number' field, type the appropriate ECF number.


In the 'Description' field, type or edit the ECF description.


In the 'Weight' field, type or edit the environment complexity weighting.

This indicates how much complexity you assign to a factor.


In the 'Value' field, type or edit a value representing the degree of influence the factor has on the project.

As a suggested gauge:

  • 0 indicates no influence
  • 3 indicates average influence
  • 5 indicates strong influence


Click on the Save button.


Examine the 'Defined Environment Types' list, and scroll across it to show the 'Ex Value' column (Weight x Value).

The summed Ex Values yield the 'Unadjusted ECF' value (at the bottom of the dialog).

The Unadjusted ECF value is combined with the Technical Complexity Factors to skew the overall complexity up or down, depending on the level of technical complexity and the corresponding level of environmental support.

Technical Complexity Factors


  • The ECF Weight evaluates its respective factor, but is irrelevant to a project; the 'Value' field assesses each factor's role within a project and, for most purposes, is the only field requiring adjustment
  • The supplied factors and their associated weights are defined by the Use Case Points Method, although they can be adjusted to suit a project's specific requirements
  • You can transport the Environment Complexity Factors between models, using the 'Export Reference Data' and 'Import Reference Data' options

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