Process and Project Metrics

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Software process and project metrics are quantitative measures that enable you to gain insight into the efficacy of the software process and the projects that are conducted using the process as a framework. Basic quality and productivity data are collected. These data are then analyzed, compared against past averages, and assessed to determine whether quality and productivity improvements have occurred. Metrics are also used to pinpoint problem areas so that remedies can be developed and the software process can be improved.

Metrics in the process and project domains

Metrics should be collected so that process and product indicators can be ascertained
1.    Process metrics used to provide indicators that lead to long term process improvement
2.    Project metrics enable project manager to
  • Assess status of ongoing project
  • Track potential risks
  • Uncover problem are before they go critical
  • Adjust work flow or tasks
  • Evaluate the project team’s ability to control quality of software work products
1. Process Metrics

Process metrics are the set of process indicators that are used to improve the software processes. Process metrics is collected over the complete software life cycle. The software process can be improved with the help of process metrics.


The Process at the center connecting 3 factors that have a profound influence on software quality and organizational performance. The skill and motivation of people has been shown to be the single most influential factor in quality and performance. The complexity of the product can have a substantial impact on quality and team performance. The technology that populates the process also has an impact.

We can measure the effectiveness of a process by deriving a set of metrics based on outcomes of the process such as
  1. Errors uncovered before release of the software
  2. Defects delivered to and reported by end users,
  3. Work products delivered (productivity),
  4. Human effort expended,
  5. Calendar time expended,
  6. Schedule conformance
Process Metrics Guidelines
  1. Use common sense and organizational sensitivity when interpreting metrics data.
  2. Provide regular feedback to the individuals and teams who collect measures and metrics.
  3. Don’t use metrics to appraise individuals.
  4. Work with practitioners and teams to set clear goals and metrics that will be used to achieve them.
  5. Never use metrics to threaten individuals or teams.
  6. Metrics data that indicate a problem area should not be considered “negative.” These data are merely an indicator for process improvement.
  7. Don’t obsess on a single metric to the exclusion of other important metrics.
 2. Project Metrics
  1. A software team can use software project metrics to adapt project workflow and technical activities.
  2. Project metrics are used to avoid development schedule delays, to mitigate potential risks, and to assess product quality on an on-going basis.
  3.  
  4. Every project should measure its inputs (resources), outputs (deliverables), and results (effectiveness of deliverables).
Intent of project metrics is twofold.

1.    Used to minimize the development schedule
2.    Used to assess product quality on an ongoing basis and, when necessary, modify the technical approach to improve quality.
•    As quality improves, defects are minimized, and as the defect count goes down, the amount of rework required during the project is also reduced. This leads to a reduction in overall project cost.

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