Here are some of the measurements we are interested in:
Product fault density
Hours per defect
Software size growth
Engineering percent rework
Action item aging
Risk and opportunity tracking
Earned value management systems measurements such as cost performance indicator and schedule performance indicator
The benefit of having a set of common measures for our business is quality product deliveries--which translates into increased customer satisfaction and ultimately improves the bottom line.
Take for example the measure of fault density. This is a lagging indicator to measure the quality of the software product after the development effort has completed. This is measured in terms of 1,000 logical source lines of code (KSLOC). This measure is calculated as:
Number of Defects/ KSLOC
The data are compared against organizational thresholds. Root cause analysis on the variance can point to issues with software complexity and insufficient/ineffective test life cycle. Keep in mind that having meaningful thresholds calibrated for your organization is the key to ensure you don't waste your time with needless analysis.
With that said, what measures do you consider important to your business?