Specify how measurement data are obtained and stored.


Explicit specification of collection methods helps to ensure that the right data are collected properly. This specification can also help further clarify information needs and measurement objectives.

Proper attention to storage and retrieval procedures helps to ensure that data are available and accessible for future use.

Example Work Products

  1. Data collection and storage procedures
  2. Data collection tools


1. Identify existing sources of data that are generated from current work products, processes, or transactions.

Existing sources of data may have been identified when specifying the measures. Appropriate collection mechanisms may exist whether or not pertinent data have already been collected.

2. Identify measures for which data are needed but are not currently available.

3. Specify how to collect and store the data for each required measure.

Explicit specifications are made of what, how, where, and when data will be collected and stored to ensure its validity and to support later use for analysis and documentation purposes.


Questions to be considered typically include the following:
  • Have the frequency of collection and the points in the process where measurements will be made been determined?
  • Has the timeline that is required to move measurement results from points of collection to repositories, other databases, or end users been established?
  • Who is responsible for obtaining data?
  • Who is responsible for data storage, retrieval, and security?
  • Have necessary supporting tools been developed or acquired?

4. Create data collection mechanisms and process guidance.

Data collection and storage mechanisms are well integrated with other normal work processes. Data collection mechanisms can include manual or automated forms and templates. Clear, concise guidance on correct procedures is available to those who are responsible for doing the work. Training is provided as needed to clarify processes required for the collection of complete and accurate data and to minimize the burden on those who provide and record data.

5. Support automatic collection of data as appropriate and feasible.


Examples of such automated support include the following:
  • Time stamped activity logs
  • Static or dynamic analyses of artifacts

6. Prioritize, review, and update data collection and storage procedures.

Proposed procedures are reviewed for their appropriateness and feasibility with those who are responsible for providing, collecting, and storing data. They also may have useful insights about how to improve existing processes or may be able to suggest other useful measures or analyses.

7. Update measures and measurement objectives as necessary.

Considerations include whether new forms, tools, or training would be required to obtain the data.