I just left this as a comment to a post on Software Testing Club. My newest comment, on Page 2 of the thread:
If you are talking about a transactional system - something like amazon.com - where you can measure the books that are successfully delivered and measure the failures, well, sure. Those transactions are roughly fungible. If we can assign a root cause to each failure, then aggregate the root causes and sort in excel, we can start doing problem-solving on the biggest problem first. That's just basic six sigma, and I'd support six sigma for transactional systems.
The problem is we try to take systems that are /not/ transactional and make them such. A lot. We also use metrics to create smoke and mirrors.
The example above is a potential good use of metrics - and I'm remiss for not mentioning it earlier. In my experience, only a small percentage of software projects have metrics that can fit this paradigm.
Then again, there are a few thousand people who read this blog in a month, and none of them mentioned it either. So I suspect the percentage is relatively small, indeed.
Schedule and Events
March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email: Matt.Heusser@gmail.com