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Areas Of Use For Software Metrics

Jan 16, 2008
Metrics are used by companies and institutions in order to get a quantitative view of how they are doing. For some institutions this can include a report on customer turnover. One type of Metrics is Software Metrics. This type of metric system is set to quantify the performance of specific software.

Software metrics are a quantitative guide to the performance of a certain piece of software in relation to the human interactions needed to make the software work. They have been established under the idea that before something can be measured or quantified, it needs to be translated into numbers. There are several areas where software metrics are found to be of use. These areas include everything from software planning to steps that are meant to improve the performance of certain software. Software cannot perform on its own without human interaction. That is why in a way, software metrics is also a measure of a person's relation to the software that he or she is handling. This fact also results in some of the negative effects and criticisms related to software metrics.

The establishment and measurement of software metrics is crucial in order to see how such a product can be effectively improved. Below you will find some areas where software metrics are necessary.

- In determining how many programmers are needed to finish a module in a week or month.

- Knowing the timeframe for patching certain bugs in the program.

- Knowing the number of bugs per line of codes written by each programmer.

The establishment of software metrics can be used by the company to improve software and personnel performances as well. Planning based on the result of software metrics can include: the degree and costs of personnel training. This depends on the result of the established software metrics. If for example, it was found that certain software is inadequate for the needs of the institution, the company then has to upgrade or get a new type of software. The personnel then have to be retrained for the new software.

Knowing a company's strengths and weakness can greatly help to improve the way a company functions. The results of software metric implementation will effectively show which areas does a company needs to improve upon and also the areas that they need to completely change to make them effective. Software metrics is not just for the measurement of the effectiveness of software and areas where it can be improved, but it can also show how personnel are handling the software.

There are some negative effects to the implementation of software metrics. These effects can be considered similar to the effects of all other types of business and functional metrics. One of the most crippling effects is the "What you see is what you get" effect. In this case, if the personnel task to use the software is inefficient in handling the software, it can be misinterpreted that the software is not well designed to the requirements of the business. There are various number of areas where metrics can be used - it is a universal measure and control tool.
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