This book focuses on the efforts at Hewlett Packard in the late '80s to establish a meaningful program to collect and analyze information. This was needed to assist in the management and development of quality systems. Many papers and a few books have previously addressed this subject, usually based upon isolated case studies conducted at several different companies.
The book examines the implementation of Hewlett Packard's Software Metrics Council, and strategy for future effort. The authors have taken special care to present all work in a professional, unbiased manner. Shortcomings as well as successes are explained in sufficient detail to allow readers to draw their own conclusions and possibly develop a similar model within their own organizations.
Tom DeMarco introduces the book this way in his preface: "Grady and Caswell were not just passive observers of the program they describe, they were right in the thick of it. Their experience is germane, their advice informed and heartfelt, and their enthusiasm catching. The story they tell is useful preparation for anyone setting out to collect and use software metrics."