Software_Metrics_Secrets - T wenty years ago I left the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: T wenty years ago, I left the security (and frustration) of working for a large corporation to begin a consult- ing career in software measurement. Since then, I’ve helped many firms implement software measurement programs. For some clients, the motivation for measurement was process improve- ment; for others, it was resolv- ing an immediate crisis and get- ting a product out the door. In this column, I’ll share the eight “secrets” of software measure- ment that I’ve learned. I call them secrets because they were not obvious to me at the begin- ning. Only in retrospect, as I’ve tried to discern patterns of suc- cess and failure, have these se- crets become clear. It’s not about the metrics Four-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong titled his autobiography It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life (Berkeley Publishing Group, New York, 2001). Although he has spent count- less hours on the bike, for him, it was only a vehicle for his fight back from life-threat- ening cancer. By the same token, measurement is not an end in itself; it’s a vehicle for highlighting ac- tivities and products that you, your project team, and your organization value so you can reach your goals. But it’s only a tool. To get anywhere, you must navigate the road— you’ve got to make decisions and act. To create an effective measurement pro- gram, you first must understand exactly where you want to go or what you want to accom- plish; that is the “why” of measurement. Success comes from channeling an organization’s pain into action No matter how much I dislike this secret, I have found it to be so. It comes back to the fact that it’s not about the metrics; it’s about the strength of the motivation to know or improve something and to follow through with action. No matter how noble the inten- tion, “Let’s do metrics” just doesn’t provide sufficient motivation. The single biggest determinant of mea- surement success lies in the answers to the following questions: How badly do you want to know the information, and how will you use it? Establishing a measurement program is easy; keeping it going is hard I am continually impressed by how easy it is to think about potentially useful measures and how hard it is to implement an effective measurement program. Within a project or organization, it’s often easy to get people en- thused about measures—but all too often, that enthusiasm does not translate into ac- tion. Even when it does, it is unlikely to be sustained. Getting the numbers is easy; do- ing something with them is not....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 05/14/2011 for the course CS 102 taught by Professor Martin during the Spring '09 term at Carnegie Mellon.

Page1 / 3

Software_Metrics_Secrets - T wenty years ago I left the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online