A Framework for Instituting Software Metrics in Small Software Organizations
The role of metrics in software quality is well-recognized; however, software metrics are yet to be standardized and integrated into development practices across the software industry. Literature reports indicate that software companies with less than 50 employees may represent up to 85% of the software organizations in several countries, including the United States. While process, project, and product metrics share a common goal of contributing to software quality and reliability, utilization of these metrics has been minimal. While the well-known process models may not be ideal in a relatively small setting, some of the large process models are being scaled down while, simultaneously, new models are being developed specifically for smaller software organizations. Software metrics have been studied for years, and there are many options available for metrics utilization, either within or outside of a process improvement framework, regardless of the size of the setting. Under this work, case studies and industrial reports on the use of metrics in software organizations were gathered and analyzed. This work examines the practices of metrics in the software industry with emphasis on small organizations, explores the challenges and benefits of using software metrics in small organizations, and outlines a practical framework based on the Goal/Question/Metric paradigm for instituting metrics programs in small software organizations.
International Journal of Software Engineering