Roles and Activities > Project Manager > Develop Measurement Plan

  • To define management goals, in terms of quality, progress, and improvement
  • To determine what needs to be measured periodically to support these goals
Input Artifacts: Resulting Artifacts:
Frequency: Once per project (updated with each iteration, if necessary)
Role: Project Manager

Workflow Details:

The Measurement Plan describes the goals which the project must track towards for successful completion and the measures and metrics to be used to determine whether the project is on track.

The activity Develop Measurement Plan is done once per project, in the inception phase, as part of the general planning activity. The measurement plan may be revised, like any other section of the software development plan, during the course of the project.

Define the Primary Management GoalsTo top of page

  • To determine and record the important functional, non-functional, budgetary and schedule requirements and constraints, which need to be tracked.

The Project Manager should decide which of the project's requirements and constraints are important enough to require an objective monitoring program. Additionally, organizational requirements may be imposed that are related to business needs (cost reduction, time-to-market and productivity improvements), not directly to project needs. Typically, a project manager will want to track the growth in capability and reliability of the software under construction, as well as expenditures (effort, schedule, other resources), and there may be performance and other quality requirements, as well as memory and processor constraints. See Guidelines: Metrics for more details. The sources of information for selection of goals include the Vision and Risk List artifacts, as well as organizational requirements and constraints not specified in the Unified Process for EDUcation.

Validate the GoalsTo top of page

  • To review the relevance, clarity, feasibility and sufficiency of the selected goals

The Project Manager should review the selected goals with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the focus of the goals selected is correct, that there is adequate coverage of all areas of interest and risk, that it is possible to reduce the goals to collectible metrics and that adequate resources can be committed to the measurement program.

Define the SubgoalsTo top of page

  • Analyze complex goals to determine subgoals to which metrics can be applied

It may be difficult or impossible to formulate direct measures for some high-level or complex goals. Instead it is necessary to decompose such a goal into simpler subgoals, which together will contribute to the achievement of the high-level goal. For example, project costs will not usually be tracked simply through a single overall cost figure, but through some Work Breakdown Structure, with budget allocated to lower levels and cost information collected at this lower level of granularity. The depth of decomposition should be limited to a maximum of two levels of breakdown below the primary or high-level goal. This is to limit the amount of data collection and reduction needed, and because it may become very difficult in deep hierarchies to be sure that tracking the subgoals is really contributing to understanding progress against the high-level goal.

Identify the Metrics Required to Satisfy the SubgoalsTo top of page

  • To determine the metrics which will enable the subgoals to be tracked

The task here is to associate the subgoals with some entity or artifact with measurable properties or attributes. Metrics that are objective and easily quantified are to be preferred.

Identify the Primitive Metrics Needed to Compute the MetricsTo top of page

  • To determine the basic measurements that will be used to derive the metrics

In this step, the elementary data items, from which the metrics will be derived, are identified. These are the items that will need to be collected.

Write the Measurement PlanTo top of page


The Measurement Plan captures the goals, subgoals and the associated metrics and primitive metrics. It will also identify the resources (e.g. Project Measurements) and responsibilities for the metrics program.

Evaluate the Measurement PlanTo top of page

  • To check the Measurement Plan for consistency, clarity, appropriateness, feasibility and completeness

The Project Manager should have the Measurement Plan reviewed by:

  • those directly engaged in the metrics program (in the default organization, the Assessment Team, see Guidelines: Project Plan, Project Organization)
  • the Project Review Authority (PRA)
  • a metrics expert external to the project, unless there are individuals in the Assessment Team who are considered experts.

Put in Place the Collection MechanismsTo top of page

  • To establish the means to collect, record, reduce and report the planned measurements

The instructions, procedures, tools and repositories for metrics collection, computation, display and reporting have to be acquired or produced, installed and set-to-work according to the Measurement Plan. This will include the Project Measurements artifact.

See Guidelines: Metrics.