Posts Tagged ‘honest measurement’

Measuring progress and quality honestly

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Progress and quality are the two dimensions of metrics needed for effective steering. Progress metrics are indicators of how much work has been accomplished. Quality metrics provide indicators of how well that work has been accomplished. With these two perspectives, stakeholders can assess more accurately whether a project is likely to deliver predictably against the target outcomes. Although financial metrics are also needed, financial status is simple and well understood. We know exactly how much money has been spent and how much time has elapsed. The challenge with most earned value management (EVM) systems is to quantify how much technical progress has been accomplished so that it can be compared with cost expended and time expended.  A reliable measure of earned value (or technical progress as a percent complete) is necessary to accurately forecast the estimates to complete. Traditional EVM methods measure against static targets and usually result in misleading indicators of software progress. However, there is no reason EVM cannot be used with dynamically changing targets and more honest assessments of software delivery.