Metrics are defined as “standards of measurement” and have long been used in the IT industry to indicate a method of measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a particular activity within a project.
This metric indicates the quality of the product under test. It can be used as a basis for estimating defects to be addressed in the next phase or the next release. This is an Organizational Measurement.
Test Metrics is a mechanism to know the effectiveness of the testing that can be measured quantitatively. It is a feedback mechanism to improve the Testing Process that is followed currently.
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Measure - To ascertain or appraise by comparing to a standard . A standard or unit of measurement; the extent, dimensions, capacity, etc., of anything, especially as determined by a standard; an act or process of measuring; a result of measurement . A related term is Measurement - The act or process of measuring. A figure, extent, or amount obtained by measuring . The act or process of measuring something. Also a result, such as a figure expressing the extent or value that is obtained by measuring .
An example measure might be five centimeters. The centimeter is the standard, and five identifies how many multiples or fractions of the standard are being appraised. With the centimeter, someone measuring something in the United States is going to get the same measure as someone in Europe.
Let's relate this to software, such as lines of code. Currently, there really isn't a universal standard for lines of code. Someone measuring a program's lines of code in one office will probably not get the same count as someone measuring the same program in a different office. Therefore, it is imperative that each organization determine a single standard for what is meant by a line of code and ensure that everyone in the organization understands and uses that standard. Thus, a measure may be universally standard or locally standard, but it needs to be a standard.
Metric - A quantitative measure of the degree to which a system, component, or process possesses a given attribute . A calculated or composite indicator based upon two or more measures. A quantified measure of the degree to which a system, component, or process possesses a given attribute .
An example of a metric would be that there were only two user-discovered errors in the first 18 months of operation. This provides more meaningful information than a statement that the delivered system is of top quality.