Better Software Magazine Articles

Meaningful Metrics

Your numbers are solid and your graphs are works of art. Now boost your metrics' value through the roof with some simple annotations that will put all that data in context.

Anna S. W. Allison
How Good Is This Software?—A Model to Measure Subjective Data

How do you really know how good your software is? Many traditional measures only look at the quantitative aspects of quality. Here's a model to measure and analyze subjective—or qualitative—data about software quality.

Andy Roth
Getting the Most from Outsourcing

Outsourcing can be a great way to augment your software efforts. Here are guidelines to help you choose the right provider and ensure that you get what you paid for.

Eric Patel
Customer Satisfaction: What to Ask, How to Ask, and Who to Ask

Improving customer satisfaction should be a primary goal of process improvement programs. So how satisfied are our customers? One of the best ways to find out is to ask them. Here are techniques for creating a useful survey and interpreting the results.

Linda Westfall
The Quality Barometer

A QA manager is often faced with measuring the impossible. Here is a simple, post-ship metric to help judge the test effort's effectiveness. The Quality Barometer method uses the bug counts found during testing, calculates a percentage, and then uses that percentage as the defect target number that can be tolerated after shipment.

George Hamblen
Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Cem Kaner on Rethinking Software Metrics

The theory underlying a measurement must take into account at least nine factors. This article defines these nine factors (e.g., the scope of the measurement, the scale of the instrument, and the variation of measurements made with the instrument) and applies them to a few examples.

Cem Kaner

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