Applied Software Measurement by Capers Jones

By Capers Jones

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That is, there is no way for management to make an accurate prediction of the outcome of a project or to exert effective control once the project has been set in motion. That is not as it should be. Software should be a normal business function with the same rigor of planning, estimating, risk, and value analysis as any other corporate function. Only measurement, carefully applied, can convert software production and maintenance from artistic activities into business activities. Although many different sociological and technological steps may be needed to bring software under management control in a large company, all of them require accurate measurement as the starting point.

Because outsource vendors are statistically somewhat better than their clients, that does not mean that every outsource vendor will succeed on every project. Systems software and military software productivity has improved under the combined rigor of the SEI CMM and Watts Humphrey’s TSP/ PSP and other technologies such as Six-Sigma. Part of the success of the systems software world can be attributed to better than average quality Introduction 17 assurance teams coupled with fairly rigorous defect removal activities such as formal inspections and formal testing by test specialists.

Other personnel measures include demographic measures of the number and kinds of personnel employed, skills inventories, and training curricula. Human Resource Measures Some companies have substantial investments in research facilities and employ scientists and researchers as well as white- and blue-collar workers. The IBM Research Division and Bell Labs are prominent examples of major corporate research facilities. Because research and development projects are not always successful, simple measurements are not sufficient.

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