From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GQM, the initialism for "goal, question, metric", is an established goal-oriented approach to software metrics to improve and measure software quality.[1]


GQM has been promoted by Victor Basili of the University of Maryland, College Park and the Software Engineering Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center[2] after supervising a Ph.D. thesis by Dr. David M. Weiss.[3] Dr. Weiss' work was inspired by the work of Albert Endres at IBM Germany.[4][5][6]


GQM defines a measurement model on three levels:[7]

1. Conceptual level (Goal)
A goal is defined for an object, for a variety of reasons, with respect to various models of quality, from various points of view and relative to a particular environment.
2. Operational level (Question)
A set of questions is used to define models of the object of study and then focuses on that object to characterize the assessment or achievement of a specific goal.
3. Quantitative level (Metric)[8]
A set of metrics, based on the models, is associated with every question in order to answer it in a measurable way.

GQM stepwise[edit]

Another interpretation of the procedure is:[9]

  1. Planning
  2. Definition
  3. Data Collection
  4. Interpretation


Sub-steps are needed for each phases. To complete the definition phase, an eleven-step procedure is proposed:[9]

  1. Define measurement goals
  2. Review or produce software process models
  3. Conduct GQM interviews
  4. Define questions and hypotheses
  5. Review questions and hypotheses
  6. Define metrics
  7. Check metrics on consistency and completeness
  8. Produce GQM plan
  9. Produce measurement plan
  10. Produce analysis plan
  11. Review plans


GQM templates are a structured way of specifying goals.

Example 1[edit]

A GQM template may contains the following fields:

field examples
object of study pair programming, static analysis tool
purpose characterize, understand, evaluate, predict, improve
focus programmer effort, program reliability
stakeholder developer, customer, manager
context factors (other important factors that may affect outcomes)

Example 2[edit]

GQM template to express the goal of a study of software engineering:

The purpose of this study is to characterize the effect of pair programming on programmer effort and program quality from the point of view of software managers in the context of a small web-development company.

Recent developments[edit]

The GQM+Strategies approach was developed by Victor Basili and a group of researchers from the Fraunhofer Society.[10] It is based on the Goal Question Metric paradigm and adds the capability to create measurement programs that ensure alignment between business goals and strategies, software-specific goals, and measurement goals.

Novel application of GQM towards business data are described.[11] Specifically in the software engineering areas of Quality assurance and Testing, GQM is used.[12]

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Goal/Question/Metric (GQM) – The Making of Software". Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  2. ^ "Software Engineering Division/Code 580". Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  3. ^ Basili, V. R.; Weiss, D. M. (November 1984). "A Methodology for Collecting Valid Software Engineering Data". IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. SE-10 (6): 728–738. doi:10.1109/TSE.1984.5010301. hdl:1903/7513. ISSN 1939-3520.
  4. ^ "Homepage Albert Endres". Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  5. ^ Endres, Albert (2003). A handbook of software and systems engineering : empirical observations, laws, and theories. H. Dieter Rombach. Harlow, England: Pearson Addison Wesley. ISBN 0-321-15420-7. OCLC 50417309.
  6. ^ Endres, Albert (1975-04-01). "An analysis of errors and their causes in system programs". ACM SIGPLAN Notices. 10 (6): 327–336. doi:10.1145/390016.808455. ISSN 0362-1340.
  7. ^ Basili, V.; Caldiera, G.; Rombach, H. D. (1994). "The Goal Question Metric Approach". Semantic Scholar. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  8. ^ Huether, Derek (2020). Metrics Cookbook. p. 11. ISBN 9798586916082.
  9. ^ a b Solingen, Rini van (1999). The goal/question/metric method : a practical guide for quality improvement of software development. Egon Berghout. London: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-709553-7. OCLC 43551689.
  10. ^ Basili, V.R.; J. Heidrich; M. Lindvall; J. Münch; C.B. Seaman; M. Regardie; A. Trendowicz (2009). "Determining the impact of business strategies using principles from goal-oriented measurement". Business Services: Konzepte, Technologien, Anwendungen. 9. Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik. Books OCG. Vienna, Austria: Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft. ISBN 978-3-85403-246-5.
  11. ^ Southekal, Prashanth H. (2017). Data for business performance : the Goal-Question-Metric (GQM) model to transform business data into an enterprise asset. Basking Ridge, NJ. ISBN 1-63462-184-0. OCLC 970616125.
  12. ^ Witte, Frank (2018), Witte, Frank (ed.), "Goal Question Metric", Metriken für das Testreporting: Analyse und Reporting für wirkungsvolles Testmanagement (in German), Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien, pp. 145–150, doi:10.1007/978-3-658-19845-9_22, ISBN 978-3-658-19845-9, retrieved 2021-03-18