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Step 4: Defining Reports

The next step in defining the measurement process is to define, develop, and document the reporting of the selected measures. Specifically, you need to determine the reporting audience, the reporting frequency, and the reporting format.

The various audiences identified may have different needs or focuses, requiring unique reporting. The targeted audiences should be involved in reviewing the proposed reporting to ensure their needs are met. People involved in the data collection should also be considered as an audience. The individuals providing the information need to receive some benefit from the process for it to continue effectively. Specifically, the project team should receive analysis and reporting on their projects. The project team typically provides most of the data, so they should receive the benefits of their activities. Also, the project team can use the data to identify improvements for their next project. If the project team receives the information, it will be involved in any necessary process changes and be more committed to implementing the changes.

Although the format and layout of the reports can be initially defined during the development of the process, it may be appropriate to wait until actual data is available to determine the scales that best show what the data represents.

A key aspect of the reporting is to leave physical space on the page for observations. Data should not be reported without any context or explanation. Analysis of the data is necessary to make sure the information is interpreted and used appropriately by the audiences. Specifically, the reports should discuss the following:

  • Findings: What was seen. "Delivered defects per function point have decreased in the last reporting period for certain areas."

  • Conclusions: What the analysis is saying. "The decrease in delivered defects in these areas can be attributed to the implementation of formal inspections throughout the life cycle."

  • Recommendations: How to proceed. "Formal inspections should be considered for roll-out to the entire organization."

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