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Metrics for project effort and value
Question for all you metrics-people. Do you relate your productivity metrics to your labor rate at all? And I guess tied in with that: if you are doing an overall proportion of work complete metric for a project (at various points for project management) how do you tie that into earned value metrics (for product managers)? This is probably more a project management question but I assume some of you QAers must have done this.
Re: Metrics for project effort and value
I was actually hoping someone else would answer this because I am curious how many people actually do measure these things in their jobs (I fear the figure is low) but I guess I will throw my own thoughts in anyway...
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sol Invictus:
Do you relate your productivity metrics to your labor rate at all?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
In short, yes. The labor rate is your cost (measured in units of effort) to put one "unit" (or "module") of product size through a given activity of a given project. In terms of code, you will probably have things like "man-hours per defect" or "person-hours per lines of code". You can also relate this to other elements like "man-hours per requirement". Oh, and project size is different for different people in terms of how they like to figure it but the standard metric is:
ProjectSize = (ProcessProductivity)(Effort/SpecialSkillsFactor)<sup>1/3</sup>(DevelopmentTime)<sup>4/3</sup>
Productivity, in terms of this, is just the inverse of the labor rate. Think of it as the number of project size "units" that can go through an activity with a given effort. Obviously productivity in terms of process can be taken from the above as:
ProcessProductivity = (ProjectSize)/(Effort/SpecialSkillsFactor)<sup>1/3</sup>(DevelopmentTime)<sup>4/3</sup>
(By the way, for strict cost of production measures, you can record the number of person-hours that are racked up relative to a given project. This number can then be multiplied by the labor rate to get cost in actual dollars. Management likes to see those bottom-line dollar figures.)
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>...if you are doing an overall proportion of work complete metric for a project (at various points for project management) how do you tie that into earned value metrics (for product managers)?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well, the whole overall proportion of of completness in terms of the project can be derived from what I gave above. Obviously to figure this out you do need some indication of your rate of labor, and that is over the course of all activities (or phases) in the project. You also need the general proportion of the product that has passed through each activity. Consider each activity as a, then the proportion is given by:
P<sub>a</sub> = (units_through_activity<sub>a</sub>) / (total_number_of_units_required)
Again, "units" here can refer to just about anything that is granularized. These can be strict code modules, it can be function points, use case points, or any measurement of work that you care to apply. Given these inputs, the relatively standard proportion complete equation is (and this is tricky with MathML support in QA Forums):
SUM Ca Pa
OPC = --------------
I assume you know that "SUM" means summation. Here you are summing over your activities from 1 through p, where Ca is your labor rate for each activity.
As far as your earned value metric, which is really going to be critical for later budgeting, where you are measuring the actual amount of work accomplished, and this is regardless of the effort that is expended or the time elapsed. (Thus, hopefully, you can see the distinction and will report accordingly to your project and product managers who will often have a different focus.)
Earned value is based on the standard proportion complete equation that I showed you above. Earned value, of course, requires the same input parameters of the proportion complete. So once you have the proportion complete metric, figure your earned value as such:
[ p ]
EV = Size * [ SUM Ca ] * OPC
[ a=1 ]
Obviously "size" is the estimated size in terms of some relevant value. For code this might be lines of code, as just one example.
Does all of this make sense?