The Goalquestionmetric Approach

The success of the G/Q/M approach is exemplified by the experience of the Motorola Corporation. Managers at Motorola identified seven goals they believed would improve their systems development organization.[4] For each goal they defined specific questions that needed to be answered to determine whether improvement had occurred. Each question was then defined in terms of an analytical equation, and the variables in the equation were divided into specific metrics that could be collected. For example, one goal was to increase defect containment. The managers defined the following two questions and related metrics to evaluate progress in this area:

What is the currently known effectiveness of the defect detection process before release?

Total defect containment effectiveness = prerelease defects / prerelease defects + postrelease defect

What is the currently known containment effectiveness of faults introduced during each constructive phase of software development for a particular software product?

phase I errors

Phase containment effectiveness for phase I = phase I errors / phase I errors + phase I defects

Using the G/Q/M approach gave Motorola the opportunity to clarify the semantic use of specific terms such as errors versus defects and the boundaries of given development phases while formulating questions and metrics. (For purposes of clarification, an error is a problem found during testing of the phase in which it was introduced, and a defect is a problem found later than the phase in which it was introduced.) Managers were able to use the information generated from the measurement program to pinpoint errors and defects by software development phase. This information helped them identify areas in the software development process that required changes and to make the needed changes based on information instead of intuition.

[4]M .K. Daskalantonakis, "A Practical View of Software Measurement and Implementation Experiences within Motorola," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 18, no. 11, 998-1010, 1992.

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Project Management Made Easy

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