e-Talk Radio: Zubrow, David, 1 March 2001


that have been collected to support decision making. For doing quantitative process management. And too often what's happened is that companies have embarked on collecting data at levels 2 and 3 primarily to...without a good purpose in mind. They do it because they have a sense you need to be doing this to satisfy the various key process areas that you want to move up. But then they get to levels 4 and 5, and now they're starting to really focus in on how do we leverage this information as part of our decision making? And realize that to a certain extent, gee, we just weren't collecting the right thing. I sort of have mixed feelings about that, because it would be great if they could foresee that and incorporate, or design the data collection to support their decision making, their project management functions, their process management functions. Right from the get-go. And so that would be the ideal case. On the other hand, at least in the former, at least they're getting some discipline and routine in place associated with collecting data. And so I guess, you should be thankful for what you do have, at least. But I think it does come back to haunt them, as they try to go up higher on the maturity scale.

Carol: Would you agree that Victor Basili's goal question metrics might help out at that level?

David: Oh, absolutely. GQM, I think, is a good way to focus in on identifying first what's the purpose. And that's what you've really got to figure out. Like establishing what are the requirements.

Carol: Right. Let's talk a little bit more about goal question metrics when we get back from our short break.

Welcome back to the show. Thanks for listening. We've been talking to David Zubrow, who has returned from the SEPC in India. And we've been talking about high-maturity organizations. What does it take to get there? What are some of the cultural differences between India and the United States and that type of thing. And I'll mention one thing, because I'm Canadian. One thing that kind of hit me, too, is that a lot of British Commonwealth-based countries, there is a very easy acceptance of anything prescriptive. It is absolutely, you don't even question it. And it's hard to describe the difference between that unless you've lived in two cultures. And being immersed in the American culture, I look back and say, "Well, why did we just follow those things?" The government makes decisions and you follow them. An expert comes in and says, "You will do it this way." And you do it. And I think in a lot of cases, that's why India in particular has just embraced the CMM. "If it's the best way of doing it, we'll just do it." Do you have any comments on that, David?

David: That could be...I'll tall you what, the thing that came to mind was the traffic over there. And it's anything but orderly. But I think you do see a lot of that within the software engineering community. And to a certain extent, that search, if you will, for best practices too, that can be incorporated into the way they do their work over there. The adherence aspects, quite frankly I didn't get into too many conversations with people strictly speaking, although a number of the participants in my tutorials were from quality assurance groups. And were talking a little bit about their roles as not only doing sort of product assurance kind of activities, but also process assurance

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