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11 Test Metrics > 11.3 Metrics Definition and Selection

11.3 Metrics Definition and Selection

Metrics and metrics collections are not an end in themselves but meant to provide a quantified, objective basis for decision making. This section explains how metrics can be accurately defined and methodically selected.

Before thinking about concrete measurement objects and associated measurable features, we need to be clear in our minds about which fundamental objectives we really want to achieve and track through measurement.

Selecting suitable metrics

Major objectives such as quality or productivity targets are broken down into subobjectives until we can assign one or several measurement objects and a small number of practical and applicable metrics to each of them.

This method, known as the “factor-criteria-metrics” (FCM) method (see figure 11-2) forms one of the bases of the quality model of the ISO 9126 family of software-quality-related standards. There, quality attributes are broken down to subattributes and further to measurable quality factors that can be assigned to concrete metrics.


  

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