As many know, I am working on a project called "Project Dune" on SourceForge, which is related to quality. You could say that quality is highly dependent on measurement. And for measurement, you need to generate data and do that in such a way that you can historically compare one data-set with another. The end result is hopefully some insight in how you are doing as a team/department/organization.
Well, it is not really that easy. When you start to measure in an organization, you need to generate the data and both activities are coming at a cost of that same organization. Effort removed from normal production work. Well, obviously it is required to find a balance between going for production and generate the data anyway since you need to find a way forward to improve and without information backing up any decisions, you base all decisions on intuition, which in general can be very deceiving.
Project Dune is interesting in that the vision is that it should do the measuring for you. It is basically a similar tool like BugZilla, Mantis and so forth, but in addition to helping with standard administration and tracking, it also helps in day-to-day activities. And that is where the automation is plugged in, next to its envisioned integration points.
When you start to connect a system that knows about user activities, it can connect the data for its users and the larger the domain is where it is connecting "dots", the larger is the area that you can measure across.
The good thing about this is:
- You get the measurements almost for free, always up-to-date and in real-time
- You are better supported in day-to-day activities
- You can spend more effort on your productive tasks without worrying about any process or dependent tasks that you do for others
The statistics for the project are ranking up at the moment. The project is available at the third page in the rankings at this time (103) and seems to be going up still. A new ALPHA-3 release was just issued today. Let's see what happens next :)