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Showing posts from February, 2015

Kryptonite Handbook, or Why You Can and Must Measure Software Development Productivity

The title of Martin Fowler's classic 2003 "bliki" post, "CannotMeasureProductivity," almost says it all.  Why "almost?"  Because, by the end of the entry and to complete the thought, Fowler concludes that we also should not even attempt it:
I can see why measuring productivity is so seductive. If we could do it we could assess software much more easily and objectively than we can now. But false measures only make things worse. (CMP, final paragraph) Ten years later, Fowler tweets that this sentiment is "still true and still needs to be said," although he qualifies this statement to clarify that "You just have to go with whatever subjective assessment appeals to you. Just remember that it is subjective."

Productivity measures are depicted here as some kind of mystical siren, luring unwary executives onto the rocks of wanting to get best value for their investment dollar.

But let's posit an imaginary world, for a moment, (le…