Questioning Measurement

Michael Bolton, DevelopSense

When we consciously measure something, we try to measure precisely and often assume that our measurements are accurate and useful. However, software development and testing activities are not subject to the same kinds of quantitative measurements and precise predictions we find in physics. Instead, our work is like the social sciences, in which complex interactions between people and systems make measurement difficult and precise prediction impossible. Michael Bolton argues that all is not lost. It is possible and surprisingly straightforward to measure development and testing accurately and usefully–even if not precisely. You can measure how much time is spent on test design and execution compared with time spent on interruptions, track coverage obtained for each product area, and more. Michael helps you learn to avoid the problems and risks of traditional measurement approaches, and explains how to make quick, practical, and inexpensive measurements that will help you toward more informed decisions.

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