Fred Brooks’ observation that nine women can’t make a baby in one month is perhaps the earliest and best known analogy between software development and parenting, and it’s an apt one. An effective software measurement program — like good parenting — requires careful planning, regular monitoring, and a significant long-term investment of time and energy.
Unfortunately, many organizations collect reams of data that produce negligible ROI. Metrics programs that can’t demonstrate tangible results are usually the first casualties when the budget belt tightens. My experience with software measurement and process improvement over the past 20 years indicates