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The Software Engineering Measurement and Analysis (SEMA) team at the Carnegie Mellon
Software Engineering Institute (SEISM) promotes the use of measurement for improving the
management and workprocesses of software development and acquisition. SEMA works
with representatives from industry, government, and academia to develop basic measurement
techniques and measurement processes that can beused to systematically and repeatedly
measure software development organizations, projects, products, and processes.
The SEI has found that an indicator template can help an organization to improveits software
measurement processes and infrastructure. In turn, it serves as a tactical aid in the execution
of the measurement process. Just as completing an indicator template helps to define orimprove a measurement process; its contents can enrich and further define what the
measurement process means and guide improvements in performance at the project and
organizational levels.
The SEIdefines an indicator as a representation of measurement data that provides insight
into software development processes and/or software process improvement activities. A
measure quantifies acharacteristic of an item whereas an indicator may use one or more
measures. For example, an indicator may be the trend of a measure over time or the ratio of
two measures.
An indicator template is usedto precisely document an indicator, its construction, correct
interpretation, as well as to direct its data collection, presentation, and measurement and
analysis processes. It helps to ensure theconsistent collection of measures for constructing
the indicator and provides a set of criteria for ensuring the consistent interpretation of the
measures collected. This technical note describes atemplate that can be used to precisely
describe, document, and report the who, what, when, where, why, and how of an
organization’s indicators. It also describes the use of the indicator template...
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