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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?

Collection Items