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Management by metrics

Objective

Alenia and Intecs are intensive software producers within the air traffic control and space domain. Both companies have been formally assessed at a maturity level 3 and have already got a database collection of many process and product metrics for statistical purposes. Its management needs the systematic and institutionalised use of metrics to plan, manage and control the software process as for cost, quality and timeliness, namely to bring back the metrics into the process, for the benefit of the process. Basic management techniques as WBS, PERT, GANTT though highly successful in other disciplines are not enough for the software managers. More and more process indicators are therefore needed to manage indroduction of SW process/products measures: metrics become mandatory for planning and assessment of software process change.

The experiment objective for both the participating companies is to reach the capability to operate at level 4 (managed) by the systematic use of metrics.

THE EXPERIMENT

The experiment will provide the managers with basic process indicators, including warning and alarm values, up to the level of detail required. A process "dash-board" based on COTS software will be defined and deployed on a baseline project to provide the managers (and quality managers), at a glance and graphically, all basic process indicators (e.g. 8 to 10), including planned vs. actual vs. historical, showing nominal values and flagging warming and allarm values.
An international external expert will support the experiment and a SPICE conformant assessment will verify achievement of a stable level 4.
This experiment will contribute at going on standardisation efforts; the dash-boards themselves may become common practice within European software companies and a powerful tool to monitor sub-contractors.

EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE

Alenia aims to reach the capability to operate at level 4. The Management by Metrics will provide managers with basic and effective process indicators by a friendly user presentation; a successful acceptance of dash-boards within the participating companies will pave the way to the replication of the experiment within other companies. The Management by Metrics practice is intended to be institutionalised as part of the company Quality System. The dash-board will become an integral appendix of all project progress reports.

At the completion of the experiment INTECS will reach the capability to operate at a maturity level (managed). The Management by Metrics practice is intended to be institutionalised as part of the company Quality System. The dash-board will become an integral appendix of all project progress reports.

Coordinator

Alenia-Un'azienda Finmeccanica
Address
Piazza Monte Grappa 4
00195 Roma
Italy