An empirical study of software metrics for assessing the phases of an agile project

Giulio Concas, Michele Marchesi, Giuseppe Destefanis, Roberto Tonelli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    We present an analysis of the evolution of a Web application project developed with object-oriented technology and an agile process. During the development we systematically performed measurements on the source code, using software metrics that have been proved to be correlated with software quality, such as the Chidamber and Kemerer suite and Lines of Code metrics. We also computed metrics derived from the class dependency graph, including metrics derived from Social Network Analysis. The application development evolved through phases, characterized by a different level of adoption of some key agile practices - namely pair programming, test-based development and refactoring. The evolution of the metrics of the system, and their behavior related to the agile practices adoption level, is presented and discussed. We show that, in the reported case study, a few metrics are enough to characterize with high significance the various phases of the project. Consequently, software quality, as measured using these metrics, seems directly related to agile practices adoption.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)525-548
    Number of pages24
    JournalInternational Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • agile methodologies
    • object-oriented metrics
    • SNA metrics applied to software
    • software evolution
    • Software metrics


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