Effective Metrics Use Isn’t All About the Numbers | Smartbear.com

Effective Metrics Use Isn’t All About the Numbers | Smartbear.com

Madison Logic CTO, Mark Herschberg, was recently quoted in an article at SmartBear.com. An exerpt from the article is below:

Although software development is more about numbers than ever before, not all development teams are realizing the same level of value from the metrics they use. Some organizations are approaching the problem more holistically to get more from their investments.

Metrics are transforming the ways companies and even software teams work, but the dirty little secret is that numbers are a double-edged sword. While metrics can improve processes and productivity, they also can be misused, abused, or not used at all.

“One of the main concerns I’ve always had about metrics is the temptation for management to use them to evaluate whether one team is better than another team,” said Nate McKie, CTO of Asynchrony, a software development consulting firm. “Once you start that, you can kiss the usefulness of the numbers goodbye; because at that point the teams will do whatever they can to make their numbers look good.”

Take Source Lines of Code (SLOC) for example. Some teams use it to track production because it’s objective and an easy metric to measure. But it isn’t necessarily the best way to gauge productivity because a team working on a new development project produces more code than a team debugging undocumented legacy spaghetti code.

“SLOC does not cover the time you spend doing R&D, documentation, or other non-coding tasks that are part of development,” said Mark Herschberg, CTO of Madison Logic, which builds business-to-business lead generation solutions. “Nearly all metrics – SLOC, function points, COCOMO, and cyclomatic complexity – have their operating ranges; but none of them make sense for all projects. Building a simple ecommerce website is very different from creating fraud detection software.” Read More. 

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