You can measure many aspects of your software products, projects, and processes. The trick is to select a small and balanced set of metrics that will help your organization track progress toward its goals. Goal-question-metric (GQM) is an effective technique for selecting appropriate metrics to meet your needs (Daskalantonakis 1992; Basili and Rombach 1988). With GQM, you begin by selecting a few project or organizational goals. State the goals to be as quantitative and measurable as you can. They might include targets such as the following:
Reduce maintenance costs by 50 percent within one year.
Improve schedule estimation accuracy to within 10 percent of actuals.
Reduce system testing time by three weeks on the next project.