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Project Measurement

Project Measurement

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Project Measurement

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Lançado em:
Oct 1, 2001


Learn how to create a measurement-oriented program for your unique organization. With new insights on measurement as a communications tool, this book offers step-by-step guidance on how to use specific quantitative actions-and-results assessments to ensure the success of key initiatives. You'll master the new skills needed to incorporate stakeholder requirements into the structure and operation of the measurement program. You'll also learn how to implement a measurement program and develop understanding of the measurement life cycle, including how to keep your tactics and processes evolving to stay in step with your organization and new challenges.
Lançado em:
Oct 1, 2001

Sobre o autor

Steve Neuendorf has more than 25 years of consulting, management, industrial engineering, and measurement experience, including 15 years directly related to management, measurement, and improvement of software engineering projects and processes. Steve also has extensive management consulting experience. He has BA and MBA degrees from the University of Puget Sound with post-graduate work in information management, and a JD degree from Seattle University. Steve also has extensive teaching experience ranging from academics to hands-on workshops.

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Project Measurement - Steve Neuendorf



Why Measure?

There are some excellent reasons for not measuring. No one can say that you missed your goal; it is just another opinion. Cost savings are substantial, since measurement can be costly. It may be that you feel you are the best at what you do and have everything under control. Measurement would only confirm that, so why bother?

The truth is that everyone measures; everyone has some sort of quantification for what they do. In business, measurement is forced to be somewhat formal because of accounting requirements. For public companies, certain other standards are imposed that prescribe measurements and measurement discipline and formality. Throughout the organization, everyone has at least an informal mental picture of the quantitative nature of what is necessary to do his or her job and manage risks. A detailed report is unnecessary for the material people to know how many pallets are on the dock or for the production people to know the size of various queues or the inventory of key supplies and materials. In fact, it is an accepted generalization that during a relatively steady state, even the most comprehensive measurement program has little effect on current or future events.

However, the opportunity to effect change or the ability to respond efficiently to change is lost if there is little or no measurement formality or discipline. If a key person leaves, the successor must start from scratch to figure out what his or her predecessor knew and needed to know to perform that job. If there is a significant change in a product or the demand for a product, the adjustments needed are made by trial and error, which can be costly. Usually, any ad-hoc need for information is met with inappropriately high cost in gathering the information and a high risk that the information will be inaccurate or unverifiable.

Thus, chances are that even if an individual is convinced that he or she is not using measurement, the organization likely is measuring, quantifying, and supporting decisions in an informal manner. The change is not in going from not measuring to measuring, but in going from a lack of formality to more formality and from a lack of communication to a much higher level of communication regarding quantitative information.


When someone does not want to do something, it does not really matter why it isn’t done as much as it matters that it isn’t done. Since myths usually contradict or exaggerate facts, perpetuating a generally accepted myth can often be an effective means to prevent measurement from moving forward.

Myth: Measurement Is Expensive

Fact: Measurement is a cost. In a business, the concepts of expensive and cheap do not apply. Outlays have a cost—the amount of cash or other resources committed. Benefits are always associated with costs. Cost-benefit analyses are used to support decisions about which outlays should be made. For example, successful software engineering process measurement programs require an outlay of 1 percent to 3 percent of the total cost of software engineering. Many industry leaders invest more than 5 percent of total costs in measurement. Typical benefits realized by these companies as an indirect result are continuously increased product and service quality, as well as annual improvements in productivity of 10 percent to 15

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