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Success Factors for Effective Process Metrics Operationalization in Agile Software Development

A Multiple Case Study
: Ram, Prabhat; Rodriguez, Pilar; Oivo, Markku; Martínez-Fernández, Silverio


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software and System Processes, ICSSP 2019. Proceedings : 25-25 May 2019, Montreal, Québec, Canada
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7281-3393-5
ISBN: 978-1-7281-3394-2
International Conference on Software and System Process (ICSSP) <2019, Montreal>
European Commission EC
H2020; 732253; Q-Rapids
Fraunhofer IESE ()
Measurement; Companies; Software; Collaboration; Tools; Team working; Interviews

Existing literature proposes success factors for establishing metrics programs. However, very few studies focus on factors that could ensure long-term use of metrics, and even fewer studies investigate such factors in the context of Agile Software Development (ASD). Motivated by this knowledge gap, we aim to identify success factors for operationalizing metrics in ASD, particularly, factors that could help in the long-term use of metrics. We conducted a multiple case study, where we operationalized process metrics at two software-intensive companies using ASD. We learned that data availability and development process are the two fundamental success factors for process metrics operationalization, albeit less prominent in literature. Companies prefer iterative and incremental operationalization of stable and functional process metrics, which is analogous to the agile way of working. Metrics trustworthiness plays a key role in successful operationalization of process metrics, and is potentially vital to ensuring their long-term use. By comparing the identified success factors with the existing literature, we conclude that success factors concerning data availability, development process, and metrics trustworthiness warrant greater attention, especially to maximize the chances of long-term use of process metrics.