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With the current worldwide focus on improvement in software process, there is clearly a need for an understanding of its impact on software engineering productivity and quality. The paper documents an attempt to provide an empirical metrics `view' of such initiatives based on data collected in a worldwide benchmarking effort conducted between March, 1991 and December, 1991. Surprisingly, of the more than 300 organizations that participated, fewer than 1 in 5 had any quantifiable performance data available prior to the start of this study. However, those that had embarked on significant process improvement efforts and were actively using metrics were able to demonstrate substantial grains in productivity and quality. In addition, insights derived from this large scale data analysis provide a framework for determining which metrics should be included in a standard software engineering measurement `dashboard'
Date of Conference: 21-22 May 1993