About Process Metrics
Process metrics are measurements of the steps of a process. Steps generally have completion milestones, and processes are generally measurable in business terms such as timeliness and cost. Process metrics tend to help with estimation (how long will it take, and what will it cost, to create a document?). Process quality has a strong effect on product quality.
Note that process metrics should be considered as measurements of the process, not of the individuals in the process. This data should be aggregated before being shared outside the group, because individual variability can be caused by many things besides the obvious inference of “how hard the writers are working”: different subjects, maturity of the product, responsiveness of individual SMEs, and the experience and skill of individual writers.
Process metrics are less directly useful than product metrics, but can be obtained during the creation process, and can be used to predict and improve quality.
General examples include the following (note that some terms require further definition for clarity):
- Accuracy: Percentage of procedures and examples verified (goal: 100%). This can be a QA or Test review function.
- Consistency: Percentage of documents with doc plans (goal: 100%). Tracking adherence to process encourages compliance.
- Consistency: Percentage of documents reviewed (goal: 100%). Tracking adherence to process encourages compliance.
- Consistency: Percentage of documents approved (goal: 100%). Tracking adherence to process encourages compliance.
- Consistency: Percentage of documents archived (goal: 100%). Tracking adherence to process encourages compliance.
- Predictability: Estimated versus actual project size (goal: 1).
- Predictability: Actual versus estimated project schedule (goal: 1). For software projects, the typical value is over 2.
- Accuracy: Total number of review comments in second review versus first review (goal: <1). Volume of review comments should decrease at each stage.
- Productivity: Total review time in hours per 100 pages. Should be stable within organization.
- Productivity: Writing hours per page. For the entire process, industry average is 3-8 hours per page, varying by type of document.
- Productivity: Illustration hours per illustration. Varies by type of illustration.
- Productivity: Editing hours per page.
- Productivity: Production hours per page.