What is software quality metrics? What metrics should you pay attention to make all software development steps right? Tom DeMarco, an American programmer and a well-known author of books on software engineering, has once said: “You cannot control what you cannot measure”. Quantitative methods of measuring have tracked record in most spheres of our life that’s why so many computer science experts tried to apply those to software development.
Simply put, a software metric is a measure that allows getting a quantitative value of software features or specifications. The objective of measuring the software quality is to use the received results for planning the budget and schedule, estimating costs, testing and QA, debugging, etc. Still, the main goal is to measure the quality.
A set of metrics include the following methods:
- algorithms analysis;
- number of code lines;
- the complexity of a software;
- functional points analysis;
- number of bugs per 1000 code lines;
- level of testing;
- number of classes and interfaces;
- cohesion, etc.
Advantages of Use a Software Quality Metric
Why do development teams use metrics to measure quality? Here are the main reasons why they are extremely using these methods:
- Productivity depends on the time you spend on tasks and other in-house activities. To track and increase productivity managers use metrics identifying and prioritizing emerging issues.
- Deliberate time management is what developers have often problems with. They can use metrics to communicate an issue, report a progress of a project, and improve their workflow.
- Metrics help CEOs and PMs assess the influence of decisions taken during a development process, sort out priorities and objectives.
Why Software Quality Metrics Matter?
Calculate and analyze all measurements collected by software metrics otherwise there is no sense to state that your team is using metrics.
A very frequent problem that most development teams face is that they consider coding and the whole development work to be an overriding priority but they don’t take the further measurement of the work done.
Oftentimes people find analyzing some scope of work to be burdensome - that’s the main reason why they are not measuring what they have completed and here is why any metric should be clear, consistent, and cost-effective.
What Metrics to Choose?
Depending on the sights a development team sets on it chooses the metric that best fits them. Here are the most popular methods of measuring quality:
#1 - Agile Metrics
Agile metrics are used to find out the ways to enhance the process of software development. Usually, lead time, cycle time, team velocity, open and close rates are taken into account.
Lead time determines the time taken by a team to generate ideas, develop and deliver a software product. Simply put, it’s the time from start to finish that is taken for completing a product or a service. Reducing this period of time can help improve the ways how quickly and positively team members are to their customers.
Cycle time is a part of the lead time that is taken for developing software and deploying it in production. Here is a clear visual aid to demonstrate the difference between lead time and cycle time.
Velocity is used to schedule sprints or iterations and assesses a team’s performance. The objective of velocity metric is to estimate the time taken for completing a certain number of units and to plan the future projects with regard to how fast the previous tasks were completed.
#2 - Production Metrics
This type of metrics asseses the scope of assignments done and measures the productivity of software development teams. Typically, it estimates the operation speed and has the following quantifiers:
- Active days - the time spent by a programmer to develop a code, not including time for planning and other minor activities. Active days help to find out the hidden costs.
- Tasks scope - a volume of code a programmer can deliver yearly. This quantifier determines the quantity of developers needed to make a software development team.
- Productivity - a volume of code that is efficiently produced by a developer.
- Code churn - a scope of code lines produced, changed, or deleted.
- The time between failures and repair - a failure is something any software development cannot avoid, that’s why it’s important to measure a mean time between such failures and recoveries.
- Apps crash rate is a correlation between a number of times an app crashes and a number of times it is used.
#3 - Security Responses Metrics
This type of quality measurement is used soon thereafter to understand how security responsive a software is. Every software may face different dangers on various devices, that’s why the metrics are used to detect how much time is needed to find out an issue, fix it, or develop a remedy.
#4 - Size-Oriented Measurements
Size-oriented metrics are used to analyze the quality of software with the help of KLOC quantifier. KlOC is an abbreviation for kilo (1000) lines of code that are used to determine bugs, errors, and costs per 1000 lines.
#5 - Function-Oriented Methods
A function point is here a core quantifier. It is a measure that demonstrates how much functionality, business functionality mainly, a product gives. This methodology considers user inputs, errors reports, and messages, user inquiries, etc.
#6 - QA Metrics
What is quality metrics in software testing? Testing is an integral part of any development process. There are hundreds of metrics for software quality testing but let’s be indicative of them. Basic metrics include test cases executed and test cases written. Calculated metrics are usually executed by a QA Lead and are used to determine the progress of the project. The reports of calculated metrics can help improve the whole software development lifecycle (SDLC).
To make clear how quality assurance metrics works see below the ordinary testings steps:
- Determine the core issues to be tested, for instance, test a tracking progress system.
- With regard to the first step, specify a metrics that will be used and a number of test cases that will be written daily.
- Assign testing to a responsible person.
- Calculate the efficiency of the metrics used.
- Define where to implement the metrics results to enhance a product development and/or a workflow.
#7 - Customers Satisfaction
The metric estimates a level of customer’s satisfaction with the product that varies from very satisfied to very dissatisfied. The data about a level of quality under these terms is obtained from customer surveys and calculated in percent.
Note that the most exact results of measuring software quality can be obtained when the first version of the product is released. Once a site, an app, or else is released, it is easy to claim it’s quality level. A team can state a number of KLOC, defect rate, and what improvements to make for the next versions.
Diceus uses different metrics of software quality that can come in handy if you need to find out what are the most effective changes to be implemented in the process of software development. Contact us to know more about our outsourcing experience and software development services.