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What can happen when metrics make the call

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1 Author(s)
Bollinger, T. ; DSC Commun., USA

The software development discipline uses many well-intended metrics in ways that can be detrimental to a company's financial well-being. The most dangerous are the derived metrics-measures produced from some sort of equation that purport to show progress toward a goal. These are dangerous precisely because they are goal-oriented: they try to measure the goodness of a product or process. Derived metrics are built from feature metrics-they measure readily identifiable and relatively unambiguous features of a product or process. In isolation, feature metrics don't describe goodness, but they can be used in a derived metric to judge the quality. Bogus software metrics are an almost unavoidable side-effect of trying to understand and manage software products and processes. Yet managers and metrics groups can take one important lesson to heart: listen to your developers and listen very carefully. If you have seen why a metric is bogus, don't just leave it at that or treat it as a secondary issue. Root out the problem and figure out how to do it right or, at the very least, better than you did it before

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 1 )