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ASK Process proudly makes all of these resources available to you to support your process improvement needs. Please tell us if you have questions or comments about any of these articles, or if there is a topic that you would like to see covered.

 

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Topics: Recent, All, Agile, ConfigMgmt, ITIL®, Management, Metrics, Planning, Process, Quality, Requirements, Risk, Standards  
 
 
  Metrics Articles    

Affordable Peer Reviews
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 14 Feb 2006
Many people know that peer reviews can help them to produce better-quality products. But most organizations do not use this potent tool because they can't justify the costs they would incur. But we can do Peer Reviews that pay back more than they cost by ensuring that they are focused on finding the kinds of defects that are difficult and much more expensive to find using other methods.

Assuring Quality: Beyond Testing & Reviews
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 19 Feb 2007

There is much more to QA than testing and reviews. In fact, testing and reviews don't assure quality; they merely check the quality and keep the product from going into production if it is too bad. Quality Assurance involves the proactive activities that can actually assure that we will build better quality than we have in the past.

Did That Process Change Work?: Four Steps to Better Processes
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Process, Metrics   •   Date Published: 25 Sep 2007

There is an old saying that goes, "You can't manage what you don't measure." This saying has survived the test of time because it is an essential truth. And it applies to more than just organizational management or even project management. It is just as true for process change. Coming up with good ideas for process changes is only the first step. The real work follows that step. And that real work is what must be carefully managed--and carefully measured!

How to Estimate Program Size
Cost of Quality Redux

This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 12 Aug 2010

In my last article on Cost of Quality, I started out by blithely stating, "Let's say we're going to write a system of 25,000 Lines of Code." Teri (a perceptive reader) called me on it! She wrote, "If a new system is built, how do you guess at how many lines of code there will be? You possibly can guess at the number of programs from looking at the requirements but how do you guess the amount of lines involved for each program?" It's an important question, and doesn't have a quick and easy answer. This was what I told Teri.

Investing in Quality: When is "Enough" Enough?
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics   •   Date Published: 27 Feb 2007

There is no doubt that we need to invest in producing a quality product. But it is not clear how much we should invest. Invest too much and we waste precious resources; invest too little and our product will be judged as poor-quality, and our project may be labeled a "failure." (Yikes!) The information you need to make good quality investments is in the records from your prior projects. Both the projects that produced "good" quality and those that did not set the stage for you to make the right decisions this time around.

Is Your Metrics Database Write-Only?
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Metrics   •   Date Published: 19 Mar 2007

A "Write-Only" database? Yes, I have seen them, and many of you probably have seen them as well! Those are the cases where organizations are constantly collecting metrics and writing them to a database, but not using that data. Of course, the ideal would be for us to collect metrics that we actually can use - and then to actually use them! And GQM (Goal-Question-Metric) can get us there!

Making Quality Planning Concrete
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Planning, Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: Jun 2006

Most of what you do while planning a project is concrete. But Quality is a "soft" concept that it is difficult to think about it in concrete terms. This makes it harder to plan for than the budget or schedule. If you want to plan for and manage quality with the same focus as you do for budget and schedule, then you must learn to measure it with the same precision.

Planning For Quality
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics   •   Date Published: 11 Oct 2005

With all of the things we must worry about while planning a project, it is easy to miss the one thing that everyone expects so automatically that it goes without saying: Quality! The customer, management, even the development team expects that the software we produce will be "good" quality. But without proper attention to defining what we mean by "good" and then planning for it, achieving the levels of quality we need is far from assured.

PSP/TSPSM Reported Data
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Process   •   Date Published: 2003
This is a compilation of data that has been reported by the SEI and various commercial companies. The data quantify the positive impact of the Personal Software Process and Team Software Process (PSP/TSP) on such measures as the quality of delivered software, programmer productivity, and the accuracy of project estimates. Several of the companies also report on intangible benefits.

Project Quality Management Series

Part 1: Quality Planning, What is "Good Enough"?
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics  
Date Published: 13 Dec 2006

The PMBOK ® Guide makes Quality Planning sound simple enough. But for many of us, the relevant quality standards are not immediately obvious. If we are to do appropriate Quality Planning, we must figure out how to answer these two pressing questions: (1) What does it mean for our product to be "good enough"? and (2) How can we ensure that our product will be "good enough"?

Part 2: Quality Assurance, Gettin' Better
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 14 Feb 2007

Many readers, seeing "Quality Assurance" (QA) in the title of this article, will expect to read about testing and reviews. Sorry! That will be next month when we talk about Quality Control. Quality Assurance has nothing to do with testing or reviews. QA is the proactive things we do before and while we are building the product to assure that we will achieve our quality goals.

Part 3: Quality Control, Ensuring "Good Enough"
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Management   •   Date Published: 15 Mar 2007

I don't need to ask if you test and debug your products. We all do! But we are not all successful at ensuring that our products are "good enough"! In fact, many of us find that, in spite of our best efforts, the products that we put into production are disappointing. We are doing Quality Control activities only to find that they have been less than effective. Ensuring that our product is "good enough" takes more than just trying hard! It requires that we do the right things, and that we do them well.

Quality That Is Worth the Cost
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Planning, Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 5 Jun 2006

QA activities do not produce any tangible products. The Cost of Quality (CoQ) is an overhead cost, and like any overhead cost, it should be minimized. But without a clear understanding of all of the things that should be counted, many organizations do the wrong things and actually end up increasing their total CoQ. Quality may be an intangible, but that doesn't meant it has to be invisible. Here's how to manage quality by the numbers.

Reducing Your Cost of Quality
This article is also published on Project Connections and CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: May 2005

How high is your Cost of Quality? The answer might surprise you. Yes, it includes reviews, the QA infrastructure, and preparing tests--those are your "Appraisal Costs". But how high are your "Failure Costs"--the cost of defects? These are the more significant Cost of Quality, and althought they are beyond your direct control, you can gain control over them indirectly!

Software Quality Data Series

Part 1: Basic and Derived Metrics
Topic: Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 2003

We measure, quantify and report on software quality. But can we control it? Can we actually assure quality (as opposed to just measuring it)? In Part 1 of this series, we will discuss the three basic metrics from which the most important quality measures can be derived (Defects, Effort, and Size). Then we will look at several important metrics that can be derived from those basic three.

Part 2: Quantitative Quality Planning
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 2003

In Part 2, we will look at Benchmark data for the measures discussed in Part 1, and how to use this information to produce a quantitative Quality Plan that we can use to understand our quality performance before the project is complete. This includes setting Quality Objectives we can check status against, establishing size estimates for the products to be produced, and determining the Defect Removal activities that will help us to reach our objectives.

Part 3: Quality Control Using In-Process Data
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Management   •   Date Published: 2003

In Part 3, we will discuss using in-process metrics to track against our quaity plan, and taking corrective action when the in-process data suggest it. This is how we actually gain control over quality!

Yes, You Can Review Your Own Work!
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 14 Jun 2005

In last month's column, "Reducing Your Cost of Quality", I listed "Structured Personal Reviews" as being a highly effective appraisal method. This resulted in e-mails from multiple people asking me about that topic. So this month, I explain what I mean by this term, and explain how you can make your reviews effective.

 

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