e-Talk Radio: Paul Hopkins, November 2000


minutes ago, so I only got in on part of it. But is it almost like having an IS blueprint for what, to fulfill my requirements for my business on a day-to-day basis and ways of measuring those specific arenas?

Carol: You're very insightful. Actually, some of my articles, I've actually used the blueprint. In software, your requirements, the things that you need, the functions that you need software to do are your floorplans.

Caller: You mean like inventory control, perhaps billing, perhaps…

Carol: The functions that you need. You need to produce some bills, you need to produce some invoices, you need to create items on invoices, that type of thing. Those are all business functions, which would be similar to having rooms. You know, kitchens. Well, how big is the kitchen? The kitchen's 10 by 10. How big is your function? Well, it's by function point.

Caller: Right. I love the way you put that across. And the gentleman is Paul…

Carol: Paul Hopkins.

Caller: Hopkins? And you're in Phoenix? Super. I'm going to have to make it a point to…Now, do you do this with your business? And I didn't get your name.

Carol: Carol.

Caller: Carol. And is this something your business has done? Or is it something that…

Carol: Yes. What our business does, is our business teaches people how to measure their software. And one of the techniques we teach is how to make sure that number one you have good requirements, that they can be measured, and that by using function points we can kind of assign a square foot value to your system.

Caller: The reason I'm saying…I won't say who I am or where I work, but I have, and I'm sure that any other big bureaucracy has wasted tons of money in trying to figure out function point measurement, core IS. Because it's quite expensive, I know that. And if you do it wrong, you've got a humongous problem that has to be revamped.

Paul: It can be expensive, for a couple reasons. But quite honestly, my approach has always been being very practical about it.

Caller: Oh, no, I'm not saying yours is. I'm saying without this type of measurement capability, and laying out the groundwork up front, a lot of money has been wasted on…I only know that from my small bit of experience in the overall bureaucracy, to see how things don't work and have to be revamped. And it just makes for insanity, and the employees get really crazy, like me, because you don't want to see IS people come near you because they're demons. You know? And my opinions, I kind of let them know. I don't think they know what they're doing.

Carol: Well, and I use the example when I do my training. One of the things that happens is in information technology, you need to do estimates before design. And if you and I sit down…

Caller: You need to do what?

Carol: Estimates before design. Before we'd even designed the system. So if you and I sit down at lunch, and you say, "Carol, I really like the system you did for Paul last week. I kinda sorta wanted to do the same thing. How much time will it take?" And I think about it to myself, and I think, "Okay, gee, I think it's going to be kind of this big, and use this kind of software," and I get back to you, just off the top of my head, and you guarantee you're not going to hold me to

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