About PSM

Why PSM?

One of the most challenging tasks in developing and maintaining a system is to meet critical project cost, schedule, and technical objectives. With more complex capabilities in today's systems, effective management of development and maintenance efforts is a key factor in project success.

What is PSM?

Practical Software and Systems Measurement: A Foundation for Objective Project Management was developed to meet today's software and system technical and management challenges. It describes an information-driven measurement process that will address the unique technical and business goals of your organization. The guidance in PSM represents the best practices used by measurement professionals within the software and system acquisition and engineering communities.

  • Practical Software and System Measurement (PSM) is sponsored by the Department of Defense and the US Army. The goal of the project is to provide Project Managers with the objective information needed to successfully meet cost, schedule, and technical objectives on programs.

  • PSM is based on actual measurement experience on DoD, Government and Industry programs. Measurement professionals from a wide variety of organizations participate in the project. PSM represents the best measurement practices used within the software and system acquisition and engineering communities.

  • PSM treats measurement as a flexible process - not a pre-defined list of graphs or reports. The process is adapted to address the specific software and system information needs, objectives, and constraints unique to each program. The PSM measurement process is defined by a set of nine best practices, called measurement principles.

  • PSM integrates the measurement requirements into the software and system supplier's process. The measurement set is tailored for each program to ensure that the measurement process is not only cost effective, but also that the measures provide meaningful and usable results.

  • PSM defines an information-driven analysis approach which helps the Project Manager make informed software and system decisions. The PSM analysis approach incorporates the use of multiple measures and non-quantitative program data to identify and evaluate information needs, including issues, risks and problems.

  • PSM supports current software and system acquisition and measurement policy. PSM defines a non-prescriptive measurement approach as required by acquisition reform, and provides a mechanism for the objective communications necessary within an Integrated Product Team (IPT).

  • PSM provides a basis for enterprise level management. PSM is designed to help put measurement into practice at the project level, thereby providing the data required to address enterprise level performance, process improvement, and business-related questions. PSM also supports Information Technology (IT) performance measurement requirements.

  • PSM is currently being used by DoD, Government, and Industry. PSM has been endorsed by government Acquisition Executives, and is a key element of the OUSD (A&T) software initiative. The PSM methodology is also being adopted by government and industry organizations.

PSM Methods of Operation

This document details the Methods of Operation of the various PSM project groups and explains the charter of the PSM project.

PSM Marketing, Calendar, and Products Information

This document briefly summarizes PSM, PSM Services, Calendar of Events, and Current products.

Practical Software Measurement: Objective Information for Decision Makers is the definitive guide to PSM.

PSM Members participate in several ways.

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