I just read a short but interesting article by Tom DeMarco on the concepts of metrics and control in software engineering. Here’s the bottom line that really resonated with me:
This leads us to the odd conclusion that strict control is something that matters a lot on relatively useless projects and much less on useful projects.
That might not sound intuitive at first, but it makes sense after reading what he has to say.
The article (PDF) is available here: http://www2.computer.org/cms/Computer.org/ComputingNow/homepage/2009/0709/rW_SO_Viewpoints.pdf.