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Getting Started with Software Measurement and Analysis

This collection contains resources about developing and sustaining a measurement and analysis program. Materials cover the three primary activities of planning, implementing, and improving.


Software Engineering Institute

If you need answers to these kinds of questions, you need measurement and analysis:

  • How well are we meeting schedules and budgets?
  • How can we help our performance improvement efforts pay off?
  • How does our organization's performance compare to other organizations' performances?
  • What software practices or technologies should our organization invest in and what yields can we expect?
  • Has our performance really improved?

Developing and sustaining a measurement and analysis program can be divided into three primary activities.

Planning for Measurement

There are probably so many things in your organization to measure that you could easily become overwhelmed by the opportunities. But for measurement to be effective, it must be designed and targeted to support your business goals. To begin planning your measurement activities, ask yourself "What do I want to know or learn?" This collection offers selected resources to help you get started planning for measurement.

Implementing Your Plan

Measurement often is done well and adds value. Yet, too often, measurement

  • is poorly integrated into education and practice
  • remains challenging for many organizations

Reviewing the problems and successes of other organizations can help you implement your plan successfully. This collection suggests several areas where both managers and engineers would benefit from better guidance about the proper use of measurement and analysis.

Evaluating and Improving Your Efforts

Organizations run on data. They use it to manage projects and the enterprise, make decisions, and guide improvement. In the quest to beat the competition by making products and processes better, faster, and cheaper, having and using high quality data and information is an input to every key decision.

But how reliable is the data you collect and use? The Measurement and Analysis Infrastructure Diagnostic (MAID) method helps you assess your measurement and analysis infrastructure and evaluate the quality of your data. MAID is intended to help you answer these questions:

  • How good is our data?
  • Are we doing the right things in terms of measurement and analysis?
  • Are we doing them well?
  • How good is the information we generate?
  • How can we improve our measurement processes and improve information quality?
  • How can we meet the CMMI-based goals associated with measurement and analysis?

Goal-Driven Software Measurement: A Guidebook

August 1996

The materials in this 1996 guidebook are designed to help you identify, select, define, and implement software measures to support your business goals.

Applications of the Indicator Template for Measurement and Analysis

September 2004

This report presents guidance for adapting and completing an indicator template--an SEI-developed tool to describe an indicator's construction, interpretation, and how it can be best utilized.

CMMI for Development, Version 1.3

November 2010

This 2010 report details CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV) V.1.3, which provides a comprehensive integrated set of guidelines for developing products and services.

Measurement and Analysis in Capability Maturity Model Integration Models and Software Process Improvement

July 2003

This article reviews the content and rationale behind the new process area and describes how the ideas introduced there are further elaborated and evolved throughout capability maturity model integration models.

A Data Specification for Software Project Performance Measures: Results of a Collaboration on Performance Measurement

July 2008

This 2008 document contains defined software project performance measures and influence factors that can be used by software development projects so that valid comparisons can be made between completed projects.

Measurement and Analysis: What Can and Does Go Wrong?

September 2004

Presented: September 2004

Measurement and Analysis: What Can and Does Go Wrong?

September 2004

Analyses of more than 1350 findings drawn from 663 Software CMM appraisals suggest several areas where both managers and engineers would benefit from better guidance about the proper use of measurement and analysis.

Experiences in Implementing Measurement Programs

November 2001

This 2001 report describes lessons learned at several organizations that have implemented measurement programs using the Goal-Driven Software Measurement methodology.

The IDEAL Model

July 2001

Presentation from July 2001 on the IDEAL model, an organizational improvement model that serves as a roadmap for initiating, planning, and implementing improvement actions.

Can You Trust Your Data? Establishing the Need for a Measurement and Analysis Infrastructure Diagnostic

November 2008

This report describes common errors in measurement and analysis and the need for a criterion-based assessment method that will allow organizations to evaluate key characteristics of their measurement programs.

Measurement and Analysis Infrastructure Diagnostic, Creating a Foundation for Effective Measurement and Analysis

October 2008

This 2008 webinar describes the current status of an effort to develop MAID, a criteria-based approach for evaluating an organization‰s measurement and analysis infrastructure.

Can You Trust Your Data? Measurement and Analysis Infrastructure Diagnosis

March 2007

This presentation was made at SEPG 2007, held from March 26-29, 2007, in Austin, Texas.