Measuring something is the first step towards improving it. In terms of software, testing metrics is the quantitative measure of the dimension, capacity, extent, size or amount of some attribute of a system, system component, or process.

In simple words, metrics is the quantitative measure using which we can estimate and verify the health, quality, and progress of a software testing effort. For example, the total number of defects present in an application.

A software testing process can be analyzed by using these metrics in terms of functionality, performance, etc. and then the data is used to improve its efficiency and quality.

The Importance of Measuring the Metrics

Measuring test metrics is a highly business-critical activity that helps to:

· Understand the specific amount and type of required improvement
· Make proper and correct decisions about technology or process change
· Take well-informed decisions to take corrective actions
· Gather fool-proof evidence of the claims made

Types of Metrics

Following are the three types of metrics:

Product-Related Metrics

Product-related metrics relate to software quality. By identifying them and taking corrective action, the product quality can be improved.

Process-Related Metrics

These metrics help improve the efficiency of a process (for e.g. SDLC), if identified and analyzed properly.

Project-Related Metrics

These metrics are useful in measuring the efficiency of the project and the tools (test management tools or others) with which a project is being run.

Various Stages of the Testing Metrics Life cycle

There are four phases of a testing metrics life cycle. Following are the brief details of the specific activities that need to be performed in each phase:


· Identify the specific metric that needs to be measured. For example, project tracker-related project
· Consider the identified metric as the base and clearly define it as per requirement. For e.g., the number of test scripts to be executed per day.


· Explain the need for a metric to the testing team and stakeholder: This way, teams will better understand the significance of collecting details for the specific metric.

· The testing team needs to be educated about the data points that need to be captured for processing the metric: identify and explain specific details to the team that requires tracking, determine the tracking frequency, and allocate the responsible resource. For example, as each working day comes to an end, the team manager will generate a collated report of the number of test scripts that are executed daily.

Report Generation

· Your report should have an effective conclusion: The improvement areas must be identified based on the analysis and interpretation of the defined metrics. For example, the number of executed test cases is less than the set goal, a proper investigation needs to be conducted to understand the causes to the corrective measure – whether to decrease the number of tests to be executed using the existing test management tools, or rectify what was causing the fall in numbers.
· Provide the report to the stakeholder and take feedback.

Author's Bio: 

As a Senior Marketing Consultant at Kualitatem, Ray Parker loves to write tech-related news, articles, specifically quality assurance and information security. Apart from his techie appearance, he enjoys soccer, reading mysteries, and spending long hours working over at the New York office.