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Mike is a certified PMP project manager and a certified ScrumMaster. Mike was involved with the creation of the DSDM Agile Project Leader certification, holds this certification at the Foundation, Practitioner, and Examiner levels. Mike was named an honorary member of the DSDM consortium and served on the board of APLN and the Lean Software and Systems Consortium. He currently co-leads the PMI Agile Community of Practice. Mike is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 128 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

How Do You Know Your Metrics Are Any Good

07.07.2013
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 Originally authored by Derek Huether

gqm diagramSo you want to create some metrics.  More importantly, someone has told you that you need to create some metrics.  How do you know if you’re just making work for yourself or if you’re just putting a spin on the same old data?

Ask yourself what the goals are.

In trying to determine what to measure in order to achieve those goals, I recommend using a Goal-Question-Metric (GQM) paradigm. It can actually be applied to all life-cycle products, processes, and resources. I’ve been using this process for years and it really helps me create a quality metric, independent of processess lifecycle.

The GQM paradigm is based on the theory that all measurement should be [1] goal-oriented i.e., there has to be some rationale and need for collecting measurements, rather than collecting for the sake of collecting. Each metric collected is stated in terms of the major goals. [2] Questions are then derived from the goals and help to refine, articulate, and determine if the goals can be achieved. [3] The metrics or measurements that are collected are then used to answer the questions in a quantifiable manner.

Here is an example of the GQM in action:


Image based on Basili, Caldiera, and Rombach “The Goal Question Metric Approach“, 1990


Published at DZone with permission of Mike Cottmeyer, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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