For organizations that want an objective measurement of how well teams are doing relative to each other, what are the most important software quality metrics to track?
There are two underlying assumptions in this question. One is that software quality metrics are objective in and of themselves, and the second is that metrics are an objective way of measuring a team's effectiveness. Neither of these assumptions is entirely correct.
Defect removal efficiency measures the development team's effectiveness at removing defects prior to a release. It is calculated by dividing the total number of defects resolved by the total number of defects found pre- and post-release. Defect detection percentage measures the test team's effectiveness at finding defects. It is determined by dividing the total number of defects found before and after the release by the number of defects found prior to the release.
Both of these software quality metrics, especially when reviewed together, provide objective measurements of the releases themselves. When the metrics of various releases are compared to each other -- assuming the metrics are calculated at the same length of time post-production -- they could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the teams relative to each other. Another way of using these metrics to evaluate teams would be to compare the ratios for each team over a series of releases.
However, there are other factors that are critical in the evaluation of teams that these metrics, or most other software quality metrics, don't capture. Some of these factors include the complexity of the code, the severity of the defects found post-production, and the relative amounts of time scheduled for coding and testing the releases. For example, one team may have high ratios, but there may have been a critical defect leaked to production that caused a loss of customers. Perhaps a customer satisfaction metric would address these issues, but that would be subjective rather than objective.
In conclusion, post-production software quality metrics may be useful in evaluating teams, but they don't provide the total picture of a team's productivity and competency, especially when comparing teams against each other.
Better metrics for planning and tracking data center investments
Find the project metrics you need to track your Agile team's performance
Dig Deeper on Topics Archive
Related Q&A from Gerie Owen
Web services and APIs aren't the same -- or are they? How do web services and API testing differ, and what does each type of test aim to achieve? Continue Reading
A script-based tool has replaced a daily testing exercise on some code. Is it simply an automated test, part of a test automation strategy or even ... Continue Reading
Developers and testers strive to create quality, reusable code to deploy apps faster and keeps users happy. But what metrics should they track to ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.