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Software Metrics Don't Kill Projects, Moronic Managers Kill Projects

50 replies on 51 pages. Most recent reply: May 16, 2008 4:38 PM by Thomas Cagley

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Merriodoc Brandybuck

Posts: 225
Nickname: brandybuck
Registered: Mar, 2003

Re: Software Metrics Don't Kill Projects, Moronic Managers Kill Projects Posted: Dec 8, 2007 11:05 AM
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> so if the "dashboard" which previously only showed the
> single WizzleWub value instead also showed umpteen other
> values, and then even synthesized some sum-up values out
> of those, would that seem any more reasonable to those who
> distrust metrics so much?
>
That seems very reasonable. It also seems like a lot of work. And it requires experience and first hand knowledge in the trenches to do that well. Two criteria that make it likely not to be adopted by any big organization. Better to have lots of simple, barely meaningful measures that are easy to document and generate so as to get your desired CMMI level certification.

And it would require a manager to let go a little bit. If you already have such a manager that can do this, then this isn't a problem. If you have a manager that you already have issues with, this is yet one more weapon they can use to bludgeon you with their ignorance and stupidity. Up until the last job I had which I left in September, I have been blessed with good managers throughout my career. Some of them required metrics but they were nothing more than a tool. Sometimes they were misapplied but we were able to take a step back and say "ok, that's interesting information, but it doesn't make much sense or isn't telling us anything useful" and we would change it.

The only metric I really care about is open bug count. If it is going down that's good. If it is going up that's bad. I don't mind my manager holding that against me as long as the source of the defects is kept in mind. There is nothing so frustrating come review time as being penalized by inheriting an old, buggy system. Nothing like having your bug count triple for reasons way beyond your control and then getting hurt for it. Getting punished for other people's sins is no fun. And I've had that happen a couple of time. It stinks.

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