Can software metrics measure it?

Bumped into an InfoWorld article by Neil McAllister on software development metrics. Good questions raised:

Code metrics are fine if all you care about is raw code production.

Do your metrics take into account time spent refactoring or documenting existing code?

Are developers who take time to train and mentor other teams about the latest code changes considered less productive than ones who stay heads-down at their desks and never reach out to their peers?

And can metrics account for productivity sinks related to unforeseen circumstances? What about code that grows longer and ever more convoluted due to scope creep — how is productivity measured then?

What about code that is functional, high-quality, and delivered on time, but doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do because of simple miscommunication?

How well do the metrics account for delays due to budget shortfalls, bugs in tools or platforms, unmet dependencies from other groups, or dysfunctional processes?

Be sure to check the article and linked content in it


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