Software metrics: a case analysis of the U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle A3 Program
Romero, James S.
Nissen, Mark E.
Matthews, David F.
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Software development efforts have become the highest-risk element of modern program management. One way that we can mitigate this risk is through the use of metrics. Software metrics can give us insight about the progress, quality, and expected completion of a software development effort. In earlier software development efforts, programming was viewed as a "black art" and, consequently, software metrics were not commonly used. Today, it is generally accepted that a software development effort should be properly planned and that software metrics should be used to control the project. Program managers are no longer concerned about whether or not to use metrics, but are more concerned with which metrics to use and whether or not the ones chosen will be effective. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle A3 Program provides valuable insight into the use of metrics. A principal finding of this research is that implementing an effective metrics program is extremely difficult, especially when the contractor is not experienced in developing software-intensive systems. Because this situation often exists, future and current program managers must assess their own knowledge of software development and plan to mitigate the effects of other factors they cannot influence. They must educate themselves on software issues and metrics and solicit assistance from independent agencies that specialize in software development
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