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Closure activities

After closure has been confirmed, archival of project materials takes place in line with stakeholder-agreed methods, location, and duration. The organization’s measurement database is updated with final project data and post-project analyses are undertaken. A project post mortem is undertaken so that issues, problems, and opportunities encountered during the process are analyzed, and lessons are drawn from the process and fed into organizational learning and improvement .

Software engineering measurement

The importance of measurement and its role in better management practices is widely acknowledged, and so its importance can only increase in the coming years. Effective measurement has become one of the cornerstones of organizational maturity.

Key terms on software measures and measurement methods have been defined in ISO15939 on the basis of the ISO international vocabulary of metrology ISO93. Nevertheless, readers will encounter terminology differences in the literature; for example, the term “metrics” is sometimes used in place of “measures.”

This topic follows the international standard ISO/IEC 15939, which describes a process which defines the activities and tasks necessary to implement a software measurement process and includes, as well, a measurement information model.

Establish and sustain measurement commitment

  • Accept requirements for measurement. Each measurement endeavor should be guided by organizational objectives and driven by a set of measurement requirements established by the organization and the project. For example, an organizational objective might be “first-to-market with new products”. This in turn might engender a requirement that factors contributing to this objective be measured so that projects might be managed to meet this objective.
  • Define scope of measurement. The organizational unit to which each measurement requirement is to be applied must be established. This may consist of a functional area, a single project, a single site, or even the whole enterprise. All subsequent measurement tasks related to this requirement should be within the defined scope. In addition, the stakeholders should be identified.
  • Commitment of management and staff to measurement. The commitment must be formally established, communicated, and supported by resources (see next item).
  • Commit resources for measurement. The organization’s commitment to measurement is an essential factor for success, as evidenced by assignment of resources for implementing the measurement process. Assigning resources includes allocation of responsibility for the various tasks of the measurement process (such as user, analyst, and librarian) and providing adequate funding, training, tools, and support to conduct the process in an enduring fashion.

Plan the measurement process

  • Characterize the organizational unit. The organizational unit provides the context for measurement, so it is important to make this context explicit and to articulate the assumptions that it embodies and the constraints that it imposes. Characterization can be in terms of organizational processes, application domains, technology, and organizational interfaces. An organizational process model is also typically an element of the organizational unit characterization.
  • Identify information needs. Information needs are based on the goals, constraints, risks, and problems of the organizational unit. They may be derived from business, organizational, regulatory, and/or product objectives. They must be identified and prioritized. Then, a subset to be addressed must be selected and the results documented, communicated, and reviewed by stakeholders.
  • Select measures. Candidate measures must be selected, with clear links to the information needs. Measures must then be selected based on the priorities of the information needs and other criteria such as cost of collection, degree of process disruption during collection, ease of analysis, ease of obtaining accurate, consistent data.
  • Define data collection, analysis, and reporting procedures. This encompasses collection procedures and schedules, storage, verification, analysis, reporting, and configuration management of data.
  • Define criteria for evaluating the information products. Criteria for evaluation are influenced by the technical and business objectives of the organizational unit. Information products include those associated with the product being produced, as well as those associated with the processes being used to manage and measure the project.
  • Review, approve, and provide resources for measurement tasks.
  • The measurement plan must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate stakeholders. This includes all data collection procedures, storage, analysis, and reporting procedures; evaluation criteria; schedules; and responsibilities. Criteria for reviewing these artifacts should have been established at the organizational unit level or higher and should be used as the basis for these reviews. Such criteria should take into consideration previous experience, availability of resources, and potential disruptions to projects when changes from current practices are proposed.
  • Resources should be made available for implementing the planned and approved measurement tasks. Resource availability may be staged in cases where changes are to be piloted before widespread deployment. Consideration should be paid to the resources necessary for successful deployment of new procedures or measures.
  • Acquire and deploy supporting technologies. This includes evaluation of available supporting technologies, selection of the most appropriate technologies, acquisition of those technologies, and deployment of those technologies.

Perform the measurement process

  • Integrate measurement procedures with relevant processes. The measurement procedures, such as data collection, must be integrated into the processes they are measuring. This may involve changing current processes to accommodate data collection or generation activities. It may also involve analysis of current processes to minimize additional effort and evaluation of the effect on employees to ensure that the measurement procedures will be accepted. Morale issues and other human factors need to be considered. In addition, the measurement procedures must be communicated to those providing the data, training may need to be provided, and support must typically be provided. Data analysis and reporting procedures must typically be integrated into organizational and/or project processes in a similar manner.
  • Collect data. The data must be collected, verified, and stored.
  • Analyze data and develop information products. Data may be aggregated, transformed, or recoded as part of the analysis process, using a degree of rigor appropriate to the nature of the data and the information needs. The results of this analysis are typically indicators such as graphs, numbers, or other indications that must be interpreted, resulting in initial conclusions to be presented to stakeholders. The results and conclusions must be reviewed, using a process defined by the organization (which may be formal or informal). Data providers and measurement users should participate in reviewing the data to ensure that they are meaningful and accurate, and that they can result in reasonable actions.
  • Communicate results. Information products must be documented and communicated to users and stakeholders.

Evaluate measurement

  • Evaluate information products. Evaluate information products against specified evaluation criteria and determine strengths and weaknesses of the information products. This may be performed by an internal process or an external audit and should include feedback from measurement users. Record lessons learned in an appropriate database.
  • Evaluate the measurement process. Evaluate the measurement process against specified evaluation criteria and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the process. This may be performed by an internal process or an external audit and should include feedback from measurement users.
  • Identify potential improvements. Such improvements may be changes in the format of indicators, changes in units measured, or reclassification of categories. Determine the costs and benefits of potential improvements and select appropriate improvement actions. Communicate proposed improvements to the measurement process owner and stakeholders for review and approval. Also communicate lack of potential improvements if the analysis fails to identify improvements.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_engineering, http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-171Fall2003/CourseHome/,http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs501/2008sp/, http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/computing/resources/IanS/SE7/,http://www.ee.unb.ca/kengleha/courses/CMPE3213/IntroToSoftwareEng.htm, http://cs.wwc.edu/~aabyan/435/Management.html,http://www.sei.cmu.edu/programs/sepm/, etc...

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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