University of Oulu

Ram P. et al. (2020) An Empirical Investigation into Industrial Use of Software Metrics Programs. In: Morisio M., Torchiano M., Jedlitschka A. (eds) Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. PROFES 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12562. Springer, Cham.

An empirical investigation into industrial use of software metrics programs

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Author: Ram, Prabhat1; Rodríguez, Pilar2; Oivo, Markku1;
Organizations: 1M3S, Faculty of ITEE, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland
2Faculty of Computer Sciences, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3Softeam, 75016 Paris, France
4ITTI Sp. z o.o, Poznań and UTP, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-05


Practitioners adopt software metrics programs to support their software development from the perspective of either overall quality, performance, or both. Current literature details and justifies the role of a metrics program in a software organization’s software development, but empirical evidence to demonstrate its actual use and concomitant benefits remains scarce. In the context of an EU H2020 Project, we conducted a multiple case study to investigate how two software-intensive Agile companies utilized a metrics program in their software development. We invited practitioners from the two case companies to report on the actual use of the metrics program, the underlying rationale, and any benefits they may have witnessed. We also collected and analyzed metrics data from multiple use cases to explain the reported use of the metrics. The analysis revealed improvements like better code review practices and formalization of quality requirements management, either as a direct consequence or as a byproduct of the use of the metrics. The contrasting contexts like company size, project characteristics, and general perspective towards metrics programs could explain why one company viewed the metrics as a trigger for their reported improvements, while the other company saw metrics as the main driver for their improvements. Empirical evidence from our study should help practitioners adopt a more favorable view towards metrics programs, who were otherwise reluctant due to lack of evidence of their utility and benefits in industrial context.

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Series: Lecture notes in computer science
ISSN: 0302-9743
ISSN-E: 1611-3349
ISSN-L: 0302-9743
ISBN: 978-3-030-64148-1
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-64147-4
Pages: 419 - 433
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64148-1_26
Host publication: Product-Focused Software Process Improvement : 21st International Conference, PROFES 2020, Turin, Italy, November 25–27, 2020, Proceedings
Host publication editor: Morisio, Maurizio
Torchiano, Marco
Jedlitschka, Andreas
Conference: International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work is a result of the Q-Rapids Project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, under grant agreement No. 732253.
EU Grant Number: (732253) Q-RAPIDS - Quality-Aware Rapid Software Development
Copyright information: © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Product-Focused Software Process Improvement : 21st International Conference, PROFES 2020, Turin, Italy, November 25–27, 2020, Proceedings. The final authenticated version is available online at: