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Measuring the Software Process: Statistical Process Control for Software Process Improvement

Book Description

"While it is usually helpful to launch improvement programs, many such programs soon get bogged down in detail. They either address the wrong problems, or they keep beating on the same solutions, wondering why things don't improve. This is when you need an objective way to look at the problems. This is the time to get some data."
Watts S. Humphrey, from the Foreword

This book, drawing on work done at the Software Engineering Institute and other organizations, shows how to use measurements to manage and improve software processes. The authors explain specifically how quality characteristics of software products and processes can be quantified, plotted, and analyzed so the performance of software development activities can be predicted, controlled, and guided to achieve both business and technical goals. The measurement methods presented, based on the principles of statistical quality control, are illuminated by application examples taken from industry.

Although many of the methods discussed are applicable to individual projects, the book's primary focus is on the steps software development organizations can take toward broad-reaching, long-term success. The book particularly addresses the needs of software managers and practitioners who have already set up some kind of basic measurement process and are ready to take the next step by collecting and analyzing software data as a basis for making process decisions and predicting process performance.

Highlights of the book include:

  • Insight into developing a clear framework for measuring process behavior

  • Discussions of process performance, stability, compliance, capability, and improvement

  • Explanations of what you want to measure (and why) and instructions on how to collect your data

  • Step-by-step guidance on how to get started using statistical process control

  • If you have responsibilities for product quality or process performance and you are ready to use measurements to manage, control, and predict your software processes, this book will be an invaluable resource.