Establish and maintain measurement objectives derived from identified information needs and objectives.


Measurement objectives document the purposes for which measurement and analysis are done and specify the kinds of actions that can be taken based on results of data analyses. Measurement objectives can also identify the change in behavior desired as a result of implementing a measurement and analysis activity.

Measurement objectives may be constrained by existing processes, available resources, or other measurement considerations. Judgments may need to be made about whether the value of the result is commensurate with resources devoted to doing the work.

Modifications to identified information needs and objectives can, in turn, be indicated as a consequence of the process and results of measurement and analysis.


Sources of information needs and objectives can include the following:
  • Project plans
  • Project performance monitoring
  • Interviews with managers and others who have information needs
  • Established management objectives
  • Strategic plans
  • Business plans
  • Formal requirements or contractual obligations
  • Recurring or other troublesome management or technical problems
  • Experiences of other projects or organizational entities
  • External industry benchmarks
  • Process improvement plans


Example measurement objectives include the following:
  • Provide insight into schedule fluctuations and progress
  • Provide insight into actual size compared to plan
  • Identify unplanned growth
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of defect detection throughout the product development lifecycle
  • Determine the cost of correcting defects
  • Provide insight into actual costs compared to plan
  • Evaluate supplier progress against the plan
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of mitigating information system vulnerabilities

Refer to the Requirements Development (RD) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about eliciting, analyzing, and establishing customer, product, and product component requirements.

Refer to the Project Monitoring and Control (PMC) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about monitoring project planning parameters.

Refer to the Project Planning (PP) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about establishing estimates.

Refer to the Requirements Management (REQM) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about maintaining bidirectional traceability of requirements.

Example Work Products

  1. Measurement objectives


1. Document information needs and objectives.

2. Prioritize information needs and objectives.

It can be neither possible nor desirable to subject all initially identified information needs to measurement and analysis. Priorities may also need to be set within the limits of available resources.

3. Document, review, and update measurement objectives.

Carefully consider the purposes and intended uses of measurement and analysis.

The measurement objectives are documented, reviewed by management and other relevant stakeholders, and updated as necessary. Doing so enables traceability to subsequent measurement and analysis activities, and helps to ensure that analyses will properly address identified information needs and objectives.

It is important that users of measurement and analysis results be involved in setting measurement objectives and deciding on plans of action. It may also be appropriate to involve those who provide the measurement data.

4. Provide feedback for refining and clarifying information needs and objectives as necessary.

Identified information needs and objectives can be refined and clarified as a result of setting measurement objectives. Initial descriptions of information needs may be ambiguous. Conflicts can arise between existing needs and objectives. Precise targets on an already existing measure may be unrealistic.

5. Maintain traceability of measurement objectives to identified information needs and objectives.

There should always be a good answer to the question, “Why are we measuring this?”

Of course, measurement objectives can also change to reflect evolving information needs and objectives.