What Makes An Effective Metric

It is wise to consider the criteria commonly employed to judge the usefulness of proposed metrics before selecting metrics that answer the questions deemed important to the goals of IS. A metric should be:

■ Understandable — If a metric is difficult to define or interpret, chances are that it will not be used or it will be applied inconsistently.

■ Quantifiable — Because metrics must be objective, IS managers should strive to reduce the amount of personal influence or judgment that must be attached to a given metric.

■ Cost-Effective — The value of the information obtained from a measurement procedure must exceed the cost of collecting data, analyzing patterns, interpreting results, and validating correctness. A given metric should be relatively easy to capture and compute, and measurement should not interfere with the actual process of creating and delivering information systems.

■ Proven — Many proposed metrics appear to have great worth but have not been validated or shown to have value in the drive to improve IS. IS

managers should steer clear of metrics that appear overly complex or have not been tested and shown to be consistent or meaningful.

■ High-Impact — Although some metrics, such as cyclomatic comp lexity, offer an effective way of predicting testing time and possibly corrective maintenance time, they may not provide enough information to make their collection and calculation worthwhile in all situations. If the products being measured have relatively similar levels of complexity, it is more helpful to gather metrics with a more significant impact. For example, it is well documented that one programmer can make a program very complex, whereas another can produce elegant, concise code. The effects of different code on actual testing and correction time, however, pale in comparison to the effects of incomplete or inaccurate design specifications. Therefore, the metric with the most impact in this case relates to the accuracy of design specifications rather than to program complexity.

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.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment