e-Talk Radio: Paulk, Mark, 28 November 2000

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We also see a number of things in terms of how you implement the Level 4 and 5 practices efficiently and correctly and in particular controlling your processes at more of a process element level, keeping a balance at the systems level with the day-to-day process management issues, which is a balance between quantitative process management and software quality management more at the systems level. Those are all things that we have learned how to articulate better now. And hopefully as time goes by, we'll get that message out to folks through various training classes that we offer and through the CMM integration work that's going on now.

Carol: And you're doing a lot of work. There's so much work going on. And I can hear companies kind of saying: Well why would I bother? If it costs me money to go through an assessment, if it costs me money to put in these requirements and these plans, what's the benefit is the bottom line. What do I get out of this? Does it save money to do things right?

Mark: Well that's always the classic question. Does quality cost? And certainly in the TQM field and in the software field, the organizations that have stayed the course and have collected the data and published it have reported that, usually, there's a savings or a return on investment of somewhere between four to one and eight to one. So for every dollar that you spend in process improvement, you save $4 to $8. When you invest in better preventive and appraisal processes, you wind up saving in terms of reworking it. It actually shortens your overall development time. As Jerry Weinberg is famous for saying: You can satisfy any requirements so long as the software doesn't have to work.

About the author

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers

Carol A. Dekkers is President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in creating peace of mind for companies who want to improve their software processes. Software measurement, software quality, process improvement, requirements, and software sizing (using function point analysis, as an example) are a few of the Quality Plus areas of specialization.

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