e-Talk Radio: Paul Hopkins, November 2000

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it. I say 12 person-months, and you say, oh great! And the next thing we know, you've put together a project list, and you put "Carol Dekkers said 12 person-months."

Caller: Exactly.

Carol: Well, if we go into requirements, and we find out, we flesh out the requirements and we find out that you want billing and invoicing and that type of thing, and I get the size out in terms of classified requirements, I put that into a model, and I come out with 46 person-months. I know what you're going to think of me. You're going to look at me and say, "You know what? You don't look like Bozo the Clown, but gee, you know, how could you be that far out? You must have used lunar cycle and shoe size to do your estimates."

Caller: You know what, though? I have found…I sold real estate, and I was taught by a very good person, when estimating possible sales, proceeds of a home, always go on the low end. The worst possible scenario. But you've also got to have the guts to have that person listen to that. Most people want pie in the sky, which is not reality. But most people sell that way. Because they're afraid of losing the sale or speaking the truth to their customer, which will benefit both the customer and themselves. You know, repetition sales are a lot better and referrals, rather than that hard, cold calling and closing a situation for all the wrong reasons.

Carol: When, in software, what happens is you're asking me to build something, and the 12 person-months was right, because we only thought it was 100 function points. When we get into requirements, we find out that guess what? It's actually 400, so no wonder we were off.

Caller: Isn't it similar to where like certain vitamins and nutrients will work for me in a specific way and help me tremendously, but they could possibly kill you because your system is not the same. You see, we're all the same but we're all different?

Carol: Right.

Caller: It's like all businesses and all departments.

Carol: One of the different things we can do with measurement, with function points, that Paul did in his company, is demystify IT.

Caller: Exactly. I agree. Because people a lot of times are afraid, and I'm an older woman who decided to embrace technology when it came on board, when a lot of people were just saying I'm not going to do it, and that's that. And I'm going, my gosh, if I want to better myself, I'd better learn to embrace it. And you're right, once you embrace it and knowledge is power, it's not to say that I know how to do everything, but I understand the concept and I know the people who can do specifics. As in, what you're doing and what Paul is doing. Because you're the experts in those realms.

Carol: I still get intimidated when I walk into Radio Shack and they start throwing around the acronyms. I don't know about you, Paul.

Paul: Yeah, you're right. You're right. But what you're hearing is someone that has had to deal with an IT organization and understand what they're trying to do. And just as an option that we've used to help demystify, as you say, what are we trying to get out of what we're providing?

Caller: Right. And you have contact numbers. I got the 727 number for Quality Plus Tech and the Web site. And Paul, does he have a contact

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