University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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Capers Jones (Capers Jones & Associates LLC), Measurement, Metrics and Innovation

Date of Event: 
Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 5:30pm


  • 5:30-8:00 p.m. at The University of Minnesota
  • 5:30 start for networking, 6:15 start of meeting


Keller Hall (EE/CS Building)
Room Keller 3- 111 (Look for signs)
Minneapolis, MN


Directions can be found on the map of the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Building.
Check out the detailed map by clicking the “close up” button.

This Month’s Meeting

Program Manager: Dick Hedger – Quality Software Technologies
Topic: Measurement, Metrics and Innovation
Speakers: Capers Jones – Capers Jones & Associates LLX


Measurement and metrics provide organizations with the information they need to operate as a business. All organizations measure, but successful organizations tend to have sophisticated measurement programs that are more extensive than average. Because measurements are scattered across many operating units, few people realize the total cost of measurement is in the range of 6% of sales. These measurements include share-holder measures, customer measures, market and sales measures, productivity and quality measures, reliability and warranty measures, and operational measures.

This presentation is based on empirical observations of the measurement programs found in the organizations that are U.S. leaders for software productivity, quality, schedules, and innovation. As of 2010, function point metrics are the most widely used metrics for controlling software projects. In successful enterprises, measurements are part of overall improvement initiatives such as six-sigma programs or ascending the levels of the capability maturity model (CMMI). A successful measurement program has a very good return on investment. In fact, without a good measurement program it is difficult to achieve overall improvements in software engineering disciplines. Measurements provide quantitative baselines to show progress along the path to improvement.

Statement of Purpose:

  • Explain the kinds of measurements used by successful companies
  • Explain the sequence of starting productivity and quality measurements
  • Explain the costs of each kind of measurement
  • Explain the value of each kind of measurement

Speaker Bio

Capers Jones is currently the president and CEO of Capers Jones & Associates LLC. He is also the founder and former chairman of Software Productivity Research LLC (SPR). He holds the title of Chief Scientist Emeritus at SPR. Capers Jones founded SPR in 1984. He is also a member of the advisory board of Computer Aid Inc. (CAI). He was awarded a life-time membership by the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG). He was named as a distinguished advisor to the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ). He is also a signatory of the software engineering method and theory group (SEMAT).

Capers Jones is a well-known author and an international public speaker. Some of his books have been translated into five languages. Among his book titles are Assessment and Control of Software Risks (Prentice Hall 1994); Patterns of Software Systems Failure and Success; (International Thomson 1995), Software Quality (International Thomson 1997); Software Assessments, Benchmarks, and Best Practices (Addison Wesley Longman 2000), Software Cost Estimation, 2nd edition (McGraw Hill 2007) and Applied Software Measurement, 3rd edition; (McGraw Hill 2008). His latest technical book is Software Engineering Best Practices which was published by McGraw Hill in October of 2009.

Capers and his colleagues from SPR have collected historical data from hundreds of corporations and more than 30 government organizations. This historical data is a key resource for judging the effectiveness of software process improvement methods. The data is also a resource for the development of commercial software cost estimating tools such as SPQR/20™, Checkpoint™, KnowledgePlan™, and the new Software Risk Master early estimation tool and risk avoidance tool. This data is also widely cited in software litigation in cases where quality, productivity, and schedules are part of the proceedings. All of the data is recorded using the function point metric as defined by the International Function Point Users’ Group (IFPUG).