e-Talk Radio: Paul Hopkins, November 2000



Carol: Paul, do you want to give out your email?

Paul: If you'd like, actually…Yes, my email is [email protected].

Caller: Okay, I might even…Gosh, Paul would be worth buying a dinner and two lunches just to pick his brain.

Paul: Food works. That's good.

Caller: Hey, with guys that usually does, and I'm an excellent baker and gourmet cook, so I always ply my way. I've always worked with men, and that's the easiest way to get to the brain. I'm not saying you're like that, Paul. I'm sure you're more of an intelligent nature.

Paul: I appreciate that.

Caller: But keep talking. You guys are phenomenal. I'm going to run this by some of our IT people at work, and see if this won't help them. Because sometimes they run around in circles.

Carol: And we've also got articles, if you're interested, in understanding the basics of function points. We've…I've put together a few things, like in CrossTalk, which is the journal of Defense Software Engineering, which you can get free subscriptions to.

Caller: Now, is this on your site, or do I call your 727…

Carol: If you send me an email, I promise I will put you in touch with the CrossTalk people. And you can get free subscriptions. They actually like that, because it's a Department of Defense funded journal. And the more subscribers, the more funding they get.

Caller: That's fine. You guys are phenomenal. Keep talking. I'm running around here doing things, but listening.

Carol: And we're going to go into break. And we'll be back shortly with more of Paul Hopkins.

Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. I'm Carol Dekkers, and my guest this week has been Paul Hopkins, who's the director of information technology for Honeywell's engines strategic business unit. And Paul, our caller seemed to hit a nerve that seems to be pervasive throughout the customers, and throughout the customer's side of building software. Would you agree?

Paul: Absolutely. And the points were well taken. And it's something that I think the IT organization has wrestled with for years. And quite honestly, as an IT professional, we have to get beyond the point where IT is an art. It is a science, and it's a way for us to communicate and translate the business needs into the value of the bottom line. So clearly, we need to be able to talk and communicate a common language with our customers, so that decisions and priorities can be set appropriately.

Carol: And I think one of the things that you've done successfully at Honeywell is turn the IT group around. To be able to talk customer talk.

Paul: Yes, and it's one of those…And I think you'd find pockets. You'll find localized we do better in some areas than others. But it's certainly a model that people can follow and work toward. And certain customer groups are reacting, responding really well to it. So again, it's one of those ongoing processes that I think will just get better in time as we mature.

Carol: And the thing that I've found about using function points, which really is like the square feet on a floor plan. One of the biggest values I've seen, and that our clients have seen, is when you make changes, and changes are inevitable…Changes are…People say, well gee, if we just didn't have the users changing their minds…Business changes, life changes, and when change happens part-way through a project, it's similar to saying to your builder, you know what, I really wanted a bay window.

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