Application Development & Integration

Ensuring High Quality Software Metrics (Peak Performance)

Doug Brindley, President of Software Productivity Research, identifies the software metrics that best-in-class organizations collect, and explains how even well-intentioned metrics programs can become dysfunctional. He also presents a straightforward technique for ensuring that your organization both collects and uses high-quality software metrics. Joining Brindley in an interview is Stan Rifkin, founder of Master Systems Incorporated and a noted process improvement and change management expert. Brindley begins the program by making the case for software measurement, and describes the metrics most commonly collected and analyzed. Then, he discusses what he calls “evil-twin” concepts: “Measurement Noise” and “Dysfunctional Metrics.” Next, from a classic case of dysfunctional metrics, Brindley outlines how the efforts of an employment office measurement program worked against its goals by “penalizing the truth” and reinforcing subversive behavior and record keeping. Finally, he examines the goal/question/metric (GQM) paradigm. This is a powerful technique that helps ensure metrics are functional because the paradigm is based on two important assumptions: that measurement programs should be goal-based, and that goals and metrics are defined and customized to the individual organization's needs.

Track: Peak Performance
Methodologies and proven practices that advance the management skills of IT professionals

Learning Objectives:

After watching this program, you will:

  • Be able to recognize and overcome dysfunctional and otherwise counterproductive software metrics;
  • Learn the broad spectrum of software metrics used by best-in-class IT organizations across all industry boundaries; and
  • Learn how to use the goal/question/metric (GQM) paradigm to ensure the right metrics are chosen for your particular business needs.

Content Partner:


Speakers / Authors:

Douglas Brindley - Presenter
Douglas Brindley is President and Chief Executive Officer of Software Productivity Research LLC. As of November 2003, SPR is once again an independent company led by its most senior consultants and experts. Brindley has led SPR's consulting practice since 1997, when he joined the firm after a distinguished career at Electronic Data Systems, Inc. (EDS). He developed SPR's ongoing strategic partnership with Accenture, wherein SPR provides software metrics, estimation, benchmarking, and deal shape consulting for Accenture and its clients. He leads a team of consultants who provide similar services to clients around the world. SPR also makes and markets its award-winning software project estimation tool, ""SPR KnowledgePLAN."" He is a popular speaker at project management and software metrics conferences in Europe and North America. Mr. Brindley holds a B.A. degree from Millsaps College and an M.A. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Stan Rifkin - Guest
Stan Rifkin is a principal with Master Systems, an advisory services firm he started in 1984 at the request of the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross. He worked at the Software Engineering Institute for three years. His specialties then and now are deployment, implementation, and technology transition. Stan's professional practice centers on getting best practices into actual practice. He helped to start the first Software Process Improvement Network ever, and has been instrumental in starting the San Diego SPIN. He is a member of the IEEE, ACM, Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, Academy of Management, Foundation for the Empirical Study of Programmers, Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences, and the editorial board of Empirical Software Engineering. He holds a B.S. in business administration from Cal State Northridge, a M.S. and A.B.D. in computer science from UCLA, and is pursuing a doctorate at George Washington University.

Software & Hardware Requirements:

  • 56k or Greater Internet Connection
  • Adobe Acrobat® Reader for the .pdf files
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 8 or higher
  • Modern DHTML Compatible Browser
  • Ram: 256 MB minimum
  • Sound card with speakers/headphones
  • Windows or Mac OS

Price (USD)

Standard Rate: $29.00
Subscribers: $29.00
Pillsbury U Online: $29.00
Metro State Univ: FREE


Course Code : WIT-1656

Format Type : eLearning
Length : 37min

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