Measure what Matters

  1. needs to be trended over time and projects. Team efficiency metrics can give software project managers insight into how time is invested and ensure that the efforts are aligned with business goals and how those efforts can be improved.
  2. Process Efficiency

    Process efficiency metrics track and report on the health of internal processes as they relate to maturity goals (CMMI, Six Sigma, ISO etc). When working towards process maturity and achieving various levels of process excellence, software development managers gain knowledge about where process improvements can unlock efficiency and drive
    increased productivity.

  3. ProjectEfficiency

    These metrics demonstrate how well the project performed against the project objectives. Access to data around these project metrics can save money, time and effort and increase output considerably.

  4. Quality

    Quality metrics assess whether the project meets the standards set by the organization. Software managers can include a pure measure of defects/ unit of output (function, LOC, etc) by project, by phase and can also include quality assurance metrics. Armed with this data, management can review overall processes and remove roadblocks to enable higher quality outcomes such as a lower number of defects per line of code.

  5. Value and Effectiveness

    This set of metrics evaluates how well the project and its output align to the organization's strategic objectives. Software development managers can engage senior management in prioritizing projects and can align resources to the overall business goals.

Some final words of advice -

In today's businesses, increasing competitiveness for larger wallet share means that every department within an organization has to demonstrate efficiency, productivity
and the best use of resources. To demonstrate the value of IT within an organization, software development managers must be able to provide meaningful measures
of the effectiveness of their efforts and demonstrate the value of every budget dollar. With the alignment of a measurement program and metrics to overall business goals, development and project managers are better equipped to demonstrate their effectiveness and value at every level. And dashboards powered by automated real-time metrics are the icing on the cake - they give managers a never before seen insight into the workings of a project.   Increased real time visibility and metrics allow you to make fact-based decisions to improve process, streamline workflow and tune team performance for higher quality and efficiency. The toughest part of establishing a metrics program within the overall business context is bringing it to life.  Good luck and good measuring.

Doug Akers  has been in the application lifecycle management industry for the bulk of his  career after graduating from McMaster University with a BSc in computer science  and a minor in psychology. Joining MKS in 1995 Doug has worked with support,  development and marketing groups before moving into product management where he  is currently responsible for the Portfolios and Requirements feature sets within  the MKS Integrity product. In his role Doug works with global 1000 organizations  to help them implement solutions and address challenges within the software  development disciplines.

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