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Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools by Karl E Wiegers

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Trap #10: Misinterpreting Metrics Data

Symptoms

A metric trend that jumps in an undesirable direction can stimulate a knee-jerk response to take some action to get the metric back on track. Conversely, metrics trends can reveal warning signs of serious problems that might be ignored by those who don’t want to hear bad news. For example, suppose your product defect densities increase despite the team’s quality improvement efforts. You might conclude the "improvements" are doing more harm than good and be tempted to revert to old ways of working. In reality, better testing and review methods might well find a larger fraction of the defects that are present—this is good!

Solutions

Monitor the trends that key metrics exhibit over time and don’t overreact ...

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