we have written one chapter in there, "How to Select the Right Set of Standards to Help You Improve Your Software." And so that's…I believe that's the title of the book now. And the chapter that we wrote.
Carol: Oh, good. And it's forthcoming in…later 2001?
Stan: It's going to be out the third quarter of this year.
Carol: Okay, that's exciting. That'll be your third book, and Peter's first?
Peter: That's right.
Carol: The first of many, I'm sure. Before we went into break, Stan was talking a little bit about why standards are important for a small company. And then we pretty much got cut off when we went into break. So I'd like you to finish your thought there, Stan, if you would.
Stan: Well, standards are important for a small company, just as well as a large company, because they are trying to produce quality software at the lowest possible price. In order to do this, they have to be innovative, and they have to meet their customer needs. And the one way to meet their customer needs is to follow the best of practices that the world, or the national bodies, have set down. But they need to modify the standards, or the best of practices, to meet their business needs. Because you don't need as rigorous process if you're producing game software as you are for producing software for an elevator. So it is very important for small companies to follow the best of practices, but modify them, modify the best of practices, to fit the company needs. So that you can produce software at the lowest possible cost and satisfy your customer needs. Thank you.
Carol: That's a really important thing. I think that a lot of companies have been burned by going and buying methodologies, huge shelfware methodologies, and being a small company, where they've said, "Some of this just doesn't apply." And I think that's a very powerful message you're sending out, which is take the pieces that really matter for a small company. You don't have to do everything that a monolithic, 2,000 or 5,000 developer company would have to do. But pick the pieces and gain benefit for even a small company. Would you agree, Stan?
Stan: I certainly would. You know, pick the 17 software…Out of the 17 software engineering practices, pick the ones that are the most important for your company and concentrate on them. And that is my message, that…Pick the ones that are important to your company, concentrate on them, and increase the quality of your software and reduce your costs.
Carol: That's great. That's great advice. Because I think a lot of people have been…have kind of stayed away from standards, because they figure that it's all overhead. Now, Peter, I know you've got some great ideas about selecting the right software engineering standards for a company or organization. I know that you've developed an approach, between you and Stan, that will help a lot of companies who might have been kind of shying away from using standards in the past. So, how do you select the right software engineering standards for a company?
Peter: Well, Carol, you're quite right. And as Stan said, it's important to choose the right set, because the number of possible software standards is an overwhelming amount. And it may be worth repeating, Carol, that we've got standards from ISO, from IEEE, there are national standards, there are trade group standards, standards initially set. So, selecting the right one presents a challenge. No question about it. And certainly, using