Project Live Wall

In today’s software companies, consist of several development teams, being aware of the state of software development and teams, always has been a challenge for managers and observers. Also, it is an essential matter that team members being aware of result of their endeavour to adjust themselves in the process of software development.

Usually the data required for the measurement and evaluation of software development and teams, being gathered from various information systems in an organization or the metrics brought together from within the team itself. However, in a company with several different information systems and scattered teams it is an almost impossible task to be ascertain about those metrics of software development in real-time manner without a comprehensive solution for accumulation and analysis of data. Moreover, it needs meticulous attention when the vast amount of data effectively have to be shown to the managers or team members, it needs to be clear, easy to read, and accurate, and showing the real state of teams or software being under the process of development.

By being acknowledged about this rigour in our company (Tosan Inc) and lack of any system for evaluating and analysing the final state of our software product, I have begun devising and designing a system for gathering, analysing, and exhibiting the quantitative data from information systems in our company to show the exact state of software processes and projects for various software and teams.

Meanwhile I have started to realize there are more to software measurement than meet the eyes. With a deep study in software measurement I have become familiar with different approaches in this area. One of which that aroused my interest the most was the Goal-Driven Software Measurement that upon which we can identify and define indicators (i.e., graphical displays) and metrics that directly support decision making and an organization’s business, process improvement, and project goals. Software Metrics are directly associated with the product itself and attempt to measure product quality or characteristics of the product that can be connected with product quality.

The goals, questions, indicators, measures (GQIM)  is a goal-oriented measurement paradigm used in a software project and aims to improve the process and product development. I used GQIM approach for effective selection and implementation of metrics and measures. Based on this approach I have derived list of major goals of the development project, from each goal the questions that must be answered to determine if goals are being met, and decided what must be measured in order to be able to answer the questions adequately.

As a case in point, the below model of metrics is part of measures for evaluating code effectiveness of each team:

Measurment

Even though the most daunting obstacle was discovering the viable means of, measuring the various facets of the software development process, this project comprised different sections and measurement or derive of software development metrics just been the tip of iceberg. It deeply involved data analysis and evaluation, also one of the most alluring for me was the process of designing a user-centric interface.

It necessitated being apt for visualizing enormous amount of information in form of a dashboard for showing in a big screen for each team.

Each dashboard being optimized and customized for specific team with their own indicators showing measurements of software development and other relevant information from company’s information systems. Also, it had to be apt and comprehensive to readily show inclusive and detail view of the software development state and teams to the managers. Furthermore, It required a flexible user interface, being applicable in different platforms, including mobile devices.

PrjectLiveWall

To obviate these needs, I researched about best practices in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in design and development of a software system and designed and developed set of user interfaces based on these practices.

Consequently, I coined the system Live Wall and it has rewarded me a prize at a contest held for appreciating superior intellectual ideas in Tosan.