About this paper• Presents this contextual approach to improving software metrics practices• Presents the results of applying it in Software, Inc.• Offers lessons for how managers can use contextual approaches to increase the benefits of software metrics programs.
Problem need to be solvedTo explore how software organizations can create a better fit between expected and experienced benefits of their metric programs.
Existing Metrics Program• The data suppliers did not understand the definitions of metrics and measures.• The metrics program contained a lot of data that were potentially useful for several purposes.• The primary users were software improvement agents identifying high-level improvements.• Most software engineers and managers did not use the program. Very few managers saw a need for it.
Existing Metrics Program (cont.)• Interpretation of data required insights into the metrics program, the submitted measures, and actual software practices. Few people were capable of making such interpretations.• There were few managerial responses based on information from the program.• The project indicators focused on resources and deadlines and ignored the quality of software.
New Metrics Program• Data suppliers’ needs should be given more consideration in order to increase the quality of data.• Targeted interpretations should be made available to support usage.• The intended meaning of measures and indicators should be shared across stakeholders.
New Metrics Program (cont.)• The managerial hierarchy should not restrict information dissemination.• Contemporary technologies should be used to facilitate dissemination.• The metrics staff should change its role from a data collector to an information provider
Content: Information-Centric Analysis Existing Metrics Program Information-Centric Analysis New Metrics Program
ContextOrganization-Centric Analysis A Contextual Approach to Improving Software Metrics Practices Helle Damborg Frederiken and Lars Mathiassen
Context: Organization-Centric Analysis A. Technical Systems Context Major Changes Existing Program New Program• Core Business • Purpose of Program • Identification of • Management Processes • Focus Improvement Support • Benchmarking • Learning from Specific Projects• Product/Process • Model • Generic Compass • Specific Software, Technology • Measurement Process metrics Inc., metrics • Process • Simpler, Cheaper, more Flexible • More tightly linked to the ERP system• Tasks Metrics Staff • Being Outsourced • More Involved in Process assisted by Internal Projects Experts • Being In-house facilitated by Internal Experts
Context: Organization-Centric Analysis B. People Context Major Changes Existing Program New Program• Roles • Roles • Fewer Roles • Interfaces • Fewer Interfaces between Roles• Education • Education of Managers • Learning from • Learned by being Compass part of Process Measurements• Skills and • Skills • Compass Related • Software, Inc., Knowledge • Knowledge Skills Specific Skills • Compass and • Implementation Function points and Use of Measurements• Career • Position of Metrics • More Visible and Development Staff Central
Context: Organization-Centric Analysis C. Organizing Structures Context Major Changes Existing Program New Program• Unit Groupings • Working Hours of • Part Time • Full Time Metrics Staff • Smaller, more • Organization Coherent Team• Coordinating • Project Indicators • Compass’s • Project Managers Mechanisms Indicators own their Indicators• Authority and • Authority to Measure • Software Director • Metrics Staff Responsibility Software Process
Context: Organization-Centric Analysis D. Management Practices Context Major Changes Existing Program New Program• Unit Groupings • Staff • More Involved in • Program Projects • More Flexible in the way Projects are measured• Coordinating • Perceived Role of • Supervisor and • Colleague and Team Mechanisms Metrics Consultants Controller Player• Authority and • Indicators • Without Indicators • Used to set and Responsibility • Managers • Motivated from track goals Software Director • Interesting in Program
Process The IDEAL ApproachA Contextual Approach to Improving Software Metrics PracticesHelle Damborg Frederiken and Lars Mathiassen
Result• Outcomes at Software, Inc.• Limitations
ContributionLesson 1: Organize the process to improve an existing softwaremetrics program based on the IDEAL framework.Lesson 2: Assess the content of an existing program by viewingit as a medium for interaction between stakeholders.
ContributionLesson 3: Assess the context of an existing metrics programby considering the organizational practices involved in itsexecution.
ContributionLesson 4: Design improvements to the existing programthat more effectively integrates it into the managerialand organizational context.Lesson 5: Ensure commitment and active participation onall levels of software management.