It is still unclear why many information systems (IS) projects continue to fail, and why some succeed. Understanding the reasons for project success or failure, however, provides IS managers the information they need to form actions that enable the IS function to move forward and improve. The best way to gain this necessary knowledge is from a comprehensive IS measurement program.

Measurement is sometimes viewed as an objective in itself rather than as a way of supporting organizational goals. Much of the available advice on the application of measurement to the software development and maintenance process focuses on the intricacies and integrity of specific forms of measurement rather than on understanding the strengths and components of a comprehensive IS measurement program. This chapter focuses on the latter by describing a flexible measurement framework adaptable to specific organizational requirements. The chapter:

■ Explores the concept of a measurement program

■ Uses the balanced-scorecard structure to develop a framework that serves as a guideline for the measurement procedure[1]

■ Divides the measurement procedure into manageable components

■ Provides guidelines for the development and successful implementation of a measurement program

It has been said that the best way to understand the real behavior of software development and maintenance is to institute a measurement program that helps clarify patterns and guides decision making.[2] Measuring key attributes of software development and maintenance reveals behavior patterns that can be analyzed and interpreted to devise methods that better control and improve these functions.

[1]R.S. Kaplan and D.P. Norton, "Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System," Harvard Business Review, January-February 1996.

[2]L.H. Putnam and W. Myers, Measures for Excellence, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Yourdon Press, 1992, p. 11.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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