Key Points

▲ The progress toward project goals and the quality of software products must be measurable throughout the software development cycle.

▲ Metrics values provide an important perspective for managing the process. Metrics trends provide another.

▲ The most useful metrics are extracted directly from the evolving artifacts.

▲ Objective analysis and automated data collection are crucial to the success of any metrics program. Subjective assessments and manual collection techniques are likely to fail.

5. Automating the overhead and bookkeeping activities through the use of round-trip engineering and integrated environments

The fourth item is the subject of this chapter. It is inherently difficult to manage what cannot be measured objectively. This was one of the major issues with the conventional software process, where the intermediate products were predominantly paper documents. Software metrics instrument the activities and products of the software development/integration process. Any software process whose metrics are dominated by manual procedures and human-intensive activities will have limited success. In a modern development process, the most important software metrics are simple, objective measures of how various perspectives of the product and project are changing.

The quality of software products and the progress made toward project goals must be measurable throughout the software development cycle. The goals of software metrics are to provide the development team and the management team with the following:

• An accurate assessment of progress to date

• Insight into the quality of the evolving software product

• A basis for estimating the cost and schedule for completing the product with increasing accuracy over time

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