Better Software Magazine Articles

Don't Use Bug Counts to Measure Testers

Cem Kaner tells us why we should not use bug counts to measure testers. Using examples, he illustrates two problems: 1) bug counts are poor measures of individual performance; and 2) the side effects of using bug counts as a measure are serious.

Cem Kaner
Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations

Don Gray recommends Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations by Robert D. Austin. The book is not a five-step program toward measurement success; instead, it gives an in-depth look at what makes or breaks measurement systems. The book presents information in an intuitive way; if you understand algebra and simple logic, you will understand what Austin is presenting.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
On the Cost of Quality

Technical Editor Brian Lawrence explains four types of costs of quality: prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure.

Brian Lawrence
Measuring Up

You measure because you want to make better-informed decisions. But even simple, harmless-looking measures can be dangerous. For example, they can give you a nice, clear picture of an illusion. Do you want to base your decisions on illusions? Technical Editor Brian Lawrence advises that, before you dive into measuring anything, ask yourself, "Will measuring do more harm than good?"

Brian Lawrence
Making Numbers Count

Numbers count—no two ways about it. But any numbers you include in a bug report should also include the appropriate units of measure. In an example from their experience, David Wilson and Leonidas Hepis explain the importance of using consistent terminology and units of measure.

A Cautionary Tale

Technical Editor Brian Marick uses a fairy tale format to warn software professionals against using easy-to-acquire numbers in place of human judgment.

Brian Marick
Software Measurement Programs

A metrics program is any planned activity in which you use measurement to meet some specific goal. If you do not have a clear technical goal for a metrics program, then you are almost certainly not ready for such a program. Here's how to design a measurement program that leads to decisions and actions.

Norman Fenton
Building Productivity Through Measurement

Collecting and analyzing some simple measures on your application development project will provide a set of building blocks that can be used to manage your projects. This data will improve your success rate and reduce project development risk. Here are some simple measures that can improve your development efforts.

Randy Numbers
Calculating the Value of Testing

From an executive's perspective, software testing is not a capital investment in the physical plant, an acquisition, or another readily accepted business expense. A Quality Assurance Manager describes how to present testing as a business-process investment.

James Bullock
Estimating Time, Effort, and Cost

Correctly judging project needs and scope is a challenging task. Here are some techniques and tools for accurately predicting project deliverables.

David Garmus

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