Managing Metrics Is Not an Oxymoron

Article

Hamilton, Douglas B.   (1997, American Society for Quality)   Andersen Consulting, Northbrook, IL

International Conference on Software Quality, October 6-8 1997, Montgomery, AL    Vol. 7    No. 0
QICID: 11261    October 1997    pp. 226-235
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Article Abstract

Critical factors in the planning and implementation of metrics are definition, deployment, management, and support. Attention to these factors requires well-defined metrics; metrics management activities; and a metrics plan. There are seven steps to defining metrics. First, define the objective for each metric in terms of its function to control, evaluate, predict, or understand. Second, adhere to standard terminology in the definitions. Third, develop the metric equation. Fourth, establish counting criteria. Fifth, determine ranges for target values, the metric value, and the time interval for meeting the target values. Sixth, design the reporting process. Seventh, consider additional information such as demographics and metric span. Metrics management activities include: plan metrics, for defining the metrics and identifying data analyses; pilot metrics, for planning and monitoring pilots that improve metrics; and implement metrics, for building the metrics infrastructure and continuously improving the metrics. A metrics plan should document the decisions and planning activities of metrics management. The plan outline covers: purpose, scope, and definitions; metrics objectives; stakeholders, users, and implementers; metrics selected; data collection; reporting; metrics database; training, tools, and continuous improvement; piloting requirements; data collection forms; and standard metrics reports. This paper provides a template of the seven-step definition process.

Keywords

Data analysis,Metrics,Data collection


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