Productivity Intelligence: a comprehensive approach to measure quality in software development processes with Spago4Q


Engineering Group has adopted an innovative approach within its Software Labs to measure quality in software development processes. This Productivity Intelligence approach lets Quality emerge as the result of 3 dimensions of analysis: Economic benefits, Technical properties and Social impact.

Engineering’s Software Labs (ESL) include hundreds of software engineers and developers committed to providing enterprises and public administrations with software applications based on state-of-the-art technologies and consolidated quality standards, bringing innovation into the Information Technology market.

Spago4Q is the open source tool that allows ESL to measure and increase the productivity level, combining quantitative data (economical, technical data) and qualitative data (customers', integrators' and users' level of satisfaction), according to the QEST model.

The reference model is PMAI, which enables the constant monitoring and assessment of the level of quality and cost-effectiveness of software development processes and practices. Specifically, this process includes four steps:

  • Plan: define dimensions and metrics of analysis
  • Measure: collect data to measure global performance value
  • Assess: analyze results through business intelligence tools (i.e. SpagoBI)
  • Improve: identify bottlenecks, solve issue and define areas for improvement.

Achieved goals include the continuous improvement of quality practices, the measurement and enhancement of productivity, as well as the assessment of development processes in compliance with quality standards, such as ISO and CMMi.

The Productivity Intelligence measurement model allows the managers of ESL to collect performance values on three dimensions of analysis (Economic, Social and Technical) in order to identify process areas to be improved. Drill-down capabilities provide both a unified view of global performance, detailed views on single processes, as well as performance comparisons.


The list of goals defined for each dimension of analysis follows:

  • Economic dimension:
    • improve productivity
    • reduce maintenance effort
    • reduce rework
    • improve development resource allocation
    • optimize usage of hardware resources
  • Technical dimension:
    • reduce resolution time for defects and technical issues
    • improve software delivery time
    • improve quality of testing processes
    • improve quality of source code
  • Social dimension:
    • improve software compliance with corporate standards and procedures
    • improve function reuse
    • evaluate improvements on training skills for organizational resources
    • improve the level of satisfaction of customers, integrators and developers
    • foster knowledge sharing.


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