Jeff Fiebrich, Software Quality
When beginning a metrics program, the most important thing to ask is ‘Who are the metric’s customers?’ Each metric should have a customer that is prepared to take immediate, documented action when indicated by the metric. A metric without a customer is a waste of time.
When implementing software metrics, one must understand the purpose behind the metrics. Is the metric to measure software development productivity, to illustrate the level of quality in software products, or simply to drive an initiative or goal? Development teams will typically want to deliver software productivity metrics to management while management will typically want to see metrics that support the company’s effort to increase customer satisfaction – two very different things. To resolve this issue, a discussion must occur that captures what data the customer needs to see in order to react in a way that promotes the purpose of the metric. Once the metric reporting parameters have been established, the logistics of successfully driving the metrics can easily be defined.