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.
Carol: Right. And we will be back to close off with Mark Paulk after these short messages...And welcome back. We've been talking to Mark Paulk, who is a senior member of the technical staff at the Software Engineering Institute. And one thing I'd just like to finish off with, Mark, if you don't mind, is that Ed Yourdon last week said only about 15 percent of American companies have gone through any sort of assessment to find out whether or not they're even doing anything right. Does the Software Engineering Institute have any plans to address that 85 percent of organizations that aren't aware yet?
Mark: Well, one of our challenges is just keeping up with the workload that we already have. And in fact several years ago, we had to put together transition partners, establish a, if you will, a consulting community to provide services to the organizations who wanted to take advantage of the work that we were doing, because we're actually a fairly small organization. And there's no way that we could supply the services that the community was requesting at that time.
I find it plausible that 15 percent is a reasonably correct percentage. What I find amazing is just how quickly and how thoroughly the software community has picked up on the ideas. So in one sense, we still have a lot more to do, and we're continuing to expand what we're doing. In another, it is amazing how well known and how widespread the CMM work is. So is the glass half full or half empty is the question to ask, I guess.
Carol: And I think it's remarkable that in a short 10 years to have pervaded 15 percent of American companies. You know, 15 percent of American companies probably don't even track their site, that type of thing. I'd like to thank you, Mark, for spending this last hour with us and educating our listening audience and just sharing your expertise with us. Would you like to give out the Web site of the Software Engineering Institute to anyone that's interested?
Mark: Yes. If anyone is interested in finding out more about our work, www.sei.cmu.edu, which is the worldwide Web site for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University. On the educational subnet for those of you who are interested in the lithography there, you can find out about our work there. Look for CMM on the search engine and you'll find out where all of our stuff is.
Carol: And this has been a wonderful educational hour for me. I really enjoyed talking to you. And I'd like to thank you again, Mark, for being part of our show.
Mark: Always a pleasure.
Carol: And next week I hope that you'll join us as we talk to somebody that Mark was talking or alluded to, the author of Extreme Programming,