This project will demonstrate in a number of different European software sites the effectiveness of the TechForce approach to introduce software metrics bottom up, but within a sound top-down Goal/Question/Metrics (GQM) method and system metrics framework addressing performance criteria for all management levels.
Out of 100 sites in Europe that we will visit and where we will show product metrics usage and the GQM method to managers and software engineers, we anticipate that at least 20 sites will have taken decisive steps to use metrics at the end of the MERO project.
The MERO presentations & conferences and a book aim to document real world examples where software metrics usage has been introduced successfully as a means for improving the management of the Software Engineering process. One theme of this action is the coordinated support of the management and operational levels with adapted metrics. The bottom-up measurements of actual systems will quickly give practical results, while the offered GQM framework will cover the strategic interests of metrics. The TechForce method so is building bridges between operational and management levels, to improve communication, goal setting and process validation.
At the operational level we will demonstrate Software Engineers how they can use metrics on different system levels to improve the technical quality of their software products. Analysis of actual sarnple software will confront them with an objective evaluation and our analysis report will show how to improve different technical quality criteria.
With a remote metrics centre we offer on-line analysis as a follow-up, by using UNIX networking (c.q. Internet). In this 'Help-desk' like way, we offer the initial use of metrics tools and the support of our metrics expertise. Up to 70 software sites can use this service free of charge during the ESSI funded period. This implements the technology transfer paradigm 'demonstrate, cooperate, imitate'.
In a half day seminar per selected software site we bring the GQM method and a framework for product metrics on different levels of a system. It will be demonstrated that these metrics are dominant product quality criteria and that they are relevant, independently from the used software languages or techniques (such as Object Orientation). With the metrics of the framework and the GQM method a software site can constitute an information system about product and process performance criteria, addressing Strategic Management, Operational Management and Software Engineers.
To motivate high level decision makers to invest in software metrics we will set-up a database with Software Engineering benchmarks. If an organization finds its own performance in serious deviation from theindustry average, high level management is given a need to consider improvements with the use of a metrics based software management program.
Results of the project will be documented in a book to be published widely to motivate the Software Engineering community to further introduce metrics. The ESSI funding will make it possible for us to start this initial activity by overcoming the initial investment. Our goal is to subsequently continue our approach on a commercial basis, after MERO has resulted in clear and relevant results.