aligning-goals-with-business-processes-gqm-questionsThe acronym, GQM, stands for Goal Question Metric. It’s a methodology or paradigm developed originally by Victor Basili along with his colleagues for aligning goals with metrics for a business process. Although used mostly in software development environments, GQM is also used in many business management environments whenever something needs to be measured (a lot). But the tough part is asking the right questions.

With our upcoming half-day tutorial, “Agile Metrics – It’s Not About Velocity,” at QUEST 2016 in Chicago next week, I sat down with Phil Lew, our CEO, to discuss some key GQM questions that come to mind when using the paradigm in light of Agile. Here’s just a sampling of some of those questions:

  • Did we meet acceptance criteria?
  • Was demo feedback positive or negative?
  • Did customers find critical defects?
  • Are defects less severe than before?
  • Do customers prefer us over the competition?
  • Are customers advocating our product?
  • Are we prioritizing testing correctly? Is the software easy to maintain?
  • Is the software easy to scale?
  • Are we over-testing (expending unnecessary resources)?
  • Do we break things when fixing?
  • Are our resources suitable for the tasks assigned?

Hopefully, each question can be answered with 1-3 metrics, and of course, each of these questions has to be tied to a stakeholder’s goal.