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Using metrics to manage software projects

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1 Author(s)
Weller, E.F. ; Bull HN Information Systems, Pheonix, AZ, USA

Five years ago, Bull's Enterprise Servers Operation in Phoenix, Arizona, used a software process that, although understandable, was unpredictable in terms of product quality and delivery schedule. The process generated products with unsatisfactory quality levels and required significant extra effort to avoid major schedule slips. All but the smallest software projects require metrics for effective project management. Hence, as part of a program designed to improve the quality, productivity, and predictability of software development projects, the Phoenix operation launched a series of improvements in 1989. One improvement based software project management on additional software measures. Another introduced an inspection program, since inspection data was essential to project management improvements. Project sizes varied from several thousand lines of code (KLOC) to more than 300 KLOC. The improvement projects enhanced quality and productivity. In essence, Bull now has a process that is repeatable and manageable, and that delivers higher quality products at lower cost. We describe the metrics we selected and implemented, illustrating with examples drawn from several development projects.<>

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 9 )