It is necessary to decide at the beginning of the project what is important to the product- what product quality is. Especially if ship date is most important to management, it is crucial to decide how good is “good enough” for the product, and how you know when you have reached “good enough”. Measurements of specific activities required for product shipment help you decide if you have reached the proper curve shape or actual data. Recommended metrics are those that have the most value to the customers, whether the value is in time to market, features, or low defects.
Metric based decisions have a distinct advantage over gut-feel decisions- one can decide and negotiate measurements before the project starts and certainly before the project ends; it is possible to monitor progress and make ship decisions easily and quickly; and the company can then predict the effects of shipping the product.
Original article can be found at: http://www.jrothman.com/Papers/QW96.html
Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. Johanna is the author of Manage It!’Your Guide to Modern Pragmatic Project Management’. She is the coauthor of the pragmatic Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management, and author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People. And, Johanna is a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference (http://www.ayeconference.com). You can see Johanna’s other writings at http://www.jrothman.com.