“Codermetrics” – could be the solution I was looking for

I’ve just got my copy of “Codermetrics: Analytics for Improving Software Teams“, by Jonathan Alexander. I’ve had a very quick skim through and initial thoughts are that this is going to be an interesting read and a worthwhile purchase.

I’ve been struggling with the best way to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of software development teams, having tried a number of approaches and found them lacking. The approach presented in “Codermetrics” is a novel approach and one which I am keen to evaluate.

The Codermetrics principal is not based on performance reviews (though the metrics can be used in performance reviews) – it tackles the issues at a lower level and in a way analogous to how the performance of members of sports teams is measured. As well as concentrating on individual performance, it includes metrics for an individual’s contribution to the team, their flashes of genius and their responsiveness to issues.

The metrics are grouped into 3 areas:

  • Skill metrics (measuring core skills);
  • Response metrics (analysing the ‘fall-out’ from a product release);
  • Value metrics (combinations of the above to measure the values that individuals bring to the team).

The choice of skill metrics is, well, unique, in my experience, and this is where the analogy with sports teams is most obvious. I like the analogy, the metrics and the reasons given for choosing them.

Once I’ve had a good read through, I’ll provide a more thorough review. Suffice it to say that I’m really quite keen to try this out.