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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
IT Measurement
Author:
International Function Point User Group
ISBN:
0 201 74158 X
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
759pp
Price:
£41-99
Reviewer:
Roger N Lever
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
15-2
The usual quotation is along the lines that you cannot manage what hasn't been measured. IT measurement is becoming more important as industry, academics and experts try to understand and improve the success rates for IT projects. This book, sponsored by the International Function Point Users Group, is a collection of articles that pulls together the current and considered opinion on the why, what and how of measurement.

The book is organised into thirteen parts with each part aimed at a particular topic area such as Measurement Program Approaches, Using Software Metrics for Effective Estimating, SEI and ISO-Based Metrics and Impact on IT/Business Measures. There are forty-three chapters spread over these parts with around seven hundred pages and each chapter is from a different industry expert. The content is well laid out, typically comprising an introduction, main content, summary and biography and at the back of the book is an extended bibliography.

Although the breadth of the book is wide the material became somewhat repetitive, a common problem for a collection of self contained articles. Also, whilst there was a lot of good information on the subject it lacked the depth of a practical implementation being initiated and delivered. This gave much of the material a superficial quality that hinted at much more than it actually delivered. Although function points are extensively referred to in relation to determining software product size there are a number of IT areas where it is inappropriate as a measurement tool. Unfortunately even with around seven hundred pages of information there is not much information on those areas that function points are not good at measuring.

For software product development managers who wish to review the current industry thinking on IT Measurement, primarily with function points, then this book collects much of that wisdom. However, it would be difficult to envisage how those same managers would have enough knowledge to be able to initiate and implement their own program, without requiring a significant level of consultancy. So, this is not a self-help book but simply a starting point for further investigation.