Korson-McGregor technology transfer activities include the
development, customization, and delivery of industrial training
courses, and in-the-field mentoring of professional personnel. Our
courses are continually updated to reflect state-of-the-art practice.
Through university research connections maintained by the senior
partners, our courses address today the topics that will be cutting
edge tomorrow. For example, we addressed the topics of software
architectures and frameworks while many were still focused on reuse
via individual components.
Korson-McGregor capabilities encompass all phases of the development
life cycle, from techniques for domain analysis to issues of system
testing. In these situations we have a fundamental impact on the
form and quality of very large software systems. We can supply on-site
consultants who become an integral part of our clients development
Personnel from Korson-McGregor guide the domain analysis and
architecting studies that are shaping the latest generation in software
used to control and monitor the Hubble Space Telescope. The domain
analysis activity provides the foundation for the design models.
We also provide C++ programming expertise to this project. Our personnel
have participated in such activities in a number of domains allowing
us to develop generalized procedures. In addition to the scientific
domain represented by NASA, we have operated in technical environments
such as telephony and business environments such as financial and
Korson-McGregor provided consulting beginning very early in
a telecommunications framework development effort that eventually
employed 1,500 people. Our personnel participated in the sessions
that reshaped the basic architecture of our client's fundamental
switching product. Korson-McGregor developed a number of techniques
supporting the development and management of software architectures
including SAT, a software architecture testing technique. We have
also coordinated the various activities in a software project in
the complex combination of iterative development and incremental
Korson-McGregor provided basic design consultation on a soft
real time, high-availability control system for cellular communication.
Our consultants participated in domain analysis, software architecting
and design sessions. We specialize in using UML, OMT, and Booch
for constructing basic design models for a system, but we have worked
with companies using a variety of notations and methods.
Korson-McGregor is a leader in providing quality
assurance services as well as supporting these activities as they
are carried out by the personnel of the client company. These services
include defining processes that provide best current practices,
auditing the conformance with the processes, and performing the
actual tasks in the process. We have published a number of papers
on quality assurance and have made numerous presentations at conferences
such as the International Quality Week and the International Conference
on Testing Computer Software.
We have provided comprehensive review services to a number of companies.
These engagements vary in depth and scope but are generally strategic-level
activities. Our services often cross functional areas within a company:
we have developed an experience base that allows us to understand
the complete context where software development takes place. We
provide both project management audits and technical audits. Our
project management audits focus on requirements specifications,
schedule, risk identification, resource allocation, and project
planning. Our technical audits examine the quality of the architecture
being developed, adherence to good design practices, and compliance
with standard coding guide lines.
Korson-McGregor has reviewed the development process and organization
for several software development departments. These reviews resulted
in an improved definition of goals for the software development
organizations. We followed up on initial efforts with the construction
of a comprehensive business plan for the use of object-oriented
We provided an audit service for a large international consulting
firm that contracted with a software development house to build
a system to track the company's consultants, customers and engagements.
Our auditing service reviews procedures, technical documentation,
project plans, and interviews the software development staff. The
audit revealed internal disconnects between the company and its
outside service suppliers, as well as differing levels of requirements
within the company. Many specific technical recommendations were
Testing Strategy Development
A national insurance company, developing an enterprise-wide
strategy for testing the software developed internally by their
5,000 member development force, contracted with us to provide a
range of consultative services. Korson-McGregor provides template
documents and processes and reviews their application within the
company. We have provided similar services to several other fortune
one hundred companies.
Test Case Analysis and Construction
Korson-McGregor has supplied comprehensive test case development
services. For one company, our personnel defined a structure for
a test plan, defined a review process, and produced test plans for
111 use cases. The output from this project amounts to several hundred
pages of test case specifications.
Korson-McGregor provides a comprehensive curriculum on topics
related to the development of software. Our courses are offered
around the world in a variety of settings: public offerings, on-site
corporate offerings, and as tutorials at the largest software development
conferences. Many of our instructors simultaneously work on real
projects using the techniques they teach.
One of the first clients of Korson-McGregor was a very large
telecommunications company. We offered some of the first courses
on object-oriented software engineering inside the corporation that
began the development of C++. We continue to offer a wide range
of courses through their corporate training department.
Currently we are meeting the training needs of several large telecommunication
companies. We offer courses on specific languages, general design
techniques, and advanced topics such as design patterns and testing.
We offer these courses for several large corporations at multiple
company locations. We often perform a cross-fertilization function
within a company by carrying internal best-current-practices from
one location to another. We are able to customize courses as our
instructors become more knowledgeable about the domain and specific
Korson-McGregor provided a complete software development curriculum
for a large project in the financial domain. Examples were tailored
to the environment. We were able to provide courses in advanced
topics, such as testing object-oriented software patterns for object-oriented
software design, when those topics were not widely available through
other training companies.
Mentoring provides project personnel with one-on-one guidance.
We provide mentoring for technical and managerial personnel working
on various aspects of software development. The advantage of mentoring
over consulting is that the client receives advice from a highly-qualified
professional, but the advice is delivered in such a way that the
client understands how the answer was obtained as well as having
the immediate problem solved.
Korson-McGregor provided detailed guidance to the project managers
for a very large switching project. We created a structure of procedural
handbooks and guided the creation, staffing, and operation of an
object technology center within the corporation. Our company worked
with a vertical slice of managers from the lowest technical manager
to the vice president in charge of the project. By mentoring a slice
of managers, our guidance permeated the organization. During our
involvement, the division became ISO 9000 certified.
For the Hubble Telescope project, Korson-McGregor
provides full-time mentors covering a variety of functional areas
in the basic development process. In particular we provide mentors
who assist development personnel in mapping the current design onto
an efficient and high-quality C++ implementation. Our mentors balance
providing answers with explaining how the answer was obtained.
Korson-McGregor specializes in assisting corporations in the
development of their object technology infrastructure. In conjunction
with our sister organization, Comsoft, we have run a number of OOPSLA
workshops on object technology centers and have hosted a series
of OTC conferences for the past three years.