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Creating a Measurement Strategy

While measuring the performance of software engineering can be challenging, the measurement and monitoring of the software development lifecycle offer substantial benefits. To fully reap these benefits a successful strategy will include the following steps:

  1. Identify the stakeholders and their reporting requirements

  2. Document the business goals for the software engineering organizations

  3. Determine the key reasons for measuring and monitoring the SDLC

  4. Identify the entities to be measured, including teams and projects

  5. Assess the available data that can be collected and utilized to create metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)

  6. Implement internal procedures for reviewing insights derived from metrics

  7. Define the ideal state and determining what success looks like

It's worth noting that none of the above steps involve selecting metrics from a predefined list. Instead, the choice of metrics should be driven by your strategy. It is not recommended for organizations to simply default to engineering metrics frameworks like DORA or SPACE. The starting point should always come from the purpose of measuring and then identifying the goals of the organization. The selection of individual metrics should emerge from these considerations. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to gain observability into the software development lifecycle and achieve a unified view of software engineering performance.