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18 november 2005

An early-warning system for software development, based on metrics

Zojuist heb ik nog een aankondiging van een (overigens gratis) avondactiviteit in mijn mailbox ontvangen. Willy Druyts die voor AGFA-Gevaert werkt zal het donderdag 24/11 hebben over An early-warning system for software development, based on metrics.

Software development projects are often said to rarely reach their objectives within their constraints of time and budget. n early-warning system that collects and reports metrics on key project haracteristics can trigger corrective measures timely and set the roject back on its intended course.

The selection of the appropriate metrics is essential to be effective. ach metric must be available early, relate to a particular (development) process to enable a drill-down to root causes and appeal o the various stakeholders of a development project. The latter can be summarized as:
- People working in the project: the developers, the architect, esters, etc…
- People managing the project: the project manager, his or her core eam members, etc…
- People controlling the project: sponsors, a steering committee, portfolio managers, etc…

The required technology ranges from simple to having an enterprise-level complexity: Most tools offer basic reporting facilities to count the number of items being currently worked on; e.g. the number of lines of code, the number of defects, etc… Slightly more advanced is automating the collection and use the tool’s API or consolidating information from various sources in a single
database. Experience though, has shown that determining the information needs up-front is difficult. If required, data warehousing technology can be considered.

As in any metrics-project, the true challenge is in mobilizing the people and the organization. The detrimental effects of not involving stakeholders and of inappropriate use have already been described in great length. All apply in this case.

The presentation includes a description of the system being used in the author’s development environment. The aforementioned aspects will be covered as well as the link to the process improvement program.

Hopelijk slaagt Willy Druyts er met zijn presentatie in de beurskoers van het bedrijf waarvoor hij werkt (AGFA-Gevaert) wat op te krikken, na de terugval van bijna 10% gisteren.

Meer info en de mogelijkheid tot aanmelding voor deze avondactiviteit kan je overigens terugvinden op http://www.ti.kviv.be/5AVLTEST.

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