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Metrics in Project Management

Tools for anyone involved in software engineering to understand varying aspects of the code base, and the project progress. They are different from just testing for errors because they can provide a wider variety of information about the following aspects of software systems:


  • Quality of the software, different metrics look at different aspects of quality, but this aspect deals with the code.
  • Schedule of the software project on the whole. Ie some metrics look at functionality and some look at documents produced.
  • Size/Complexity of the software system. This can be either based on the code or at the macro-level of the project and it’s dependency on other projects.

Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Types of Metrics

  • Requirements metrics
    • Size of requirements
    • Traceability
    • Completeness
    • Volatility
  • Product Metrics
    • Code metrics
      • Lines of code LOC
      • Design metrics – computed from requirements or design documents before the system has been implemented
      • Object oriented metrics- help identify faults, and allow developers to see directly how to make their classes and objects more simple.
    • Test metrics
    • Communication metrics – looking at artifacts i.e. email, and meetings.
  • Process metrics
    • Measure the process of software development
      • Commonly used by management to check the budget and office procedures for efficiency
      • Evaluate and track aspects of the software design process like:
        • Human resources
        • Time
        • Schedule
        • Methodology

Schedule and Effort/Cost Variance

  • Software metrics are used to obtain objective reproducible measurements that can be useful for quality assurance, performance, debugging, management, and estimating costs.
  • Finding defects in code (post release and prior to release), predicting defective code, predicting project success, and predicting project risk
  • There is still some debate around which metrics matter and what they mean, the utility of metrics is limited to quantifying one of the following goals: Schedule of a software project, Size/complexity of development involved, cost of project, quality of software