What Metrics Can Do for You

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stopping for major bug fixes.

Process and Buy-In
Metrics can also be used to identify training needs and process improvement opportunities, to establish budget and staffing goals, and to facilitate buy-in. It is almost always easier to get buy-in from staff, colleagues, and management if you can back up your requests with pertinent metrics. At the same time, it is important to ensure that the metrics you collect actually serve a purpose beyond just filling out a chart or graph. Nothing is more frustrating to practitioners than submitting data that no one uses, or worse, is somehow going to be used only as a grade card. People who are collecting measurement data and/or whose work is being measured must understand how the data will be used and who will have access to it.

Summary
This brief survey gives you an idea of the variety of ways metrics can help you do a better job. There must also be vigilance against their misuse. Please add your comments if you want to share more positive uses for metrics, or if you want to share a warning about misuses you have witnessed.

About the author

Rick Craig's picture Rick Craig

Rick Craig is a consultant, lecturer, author, and test manager, who has led numerous teams of testers on both large and small projects. In his twenty-five years of consulting worldwide, Rick has advised and supported a diverse group of organizations on many testing and test management issues. From large insurance providers and telecommunications companies to smaller software services companies, he has mentored senior software managers and helped test teams improve their effectiveness. Rick is co-author of Systematic Software Testing and a frequent speaker at testing conferences, including every STAR conference since its inception. 

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