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Corporate Capabilities Statement

Korson-McGregor specializes in object-oriented software development techniques. We have specific experience and expertise in the software development of a wide range of types of systems. This experience includes:

High volume transaction-oriented business information systems,
Hard real time systems such as command systems for the control of spacecraft hardware, and
Soft real time systems such as telecommunications switching software.

We are currently supporting the Vision 2000 Hubble Space Telescope project in its transition to the use of object-oriented techniques, and we have a long relationship with AT&T/Lucent in the development of telecommunications software.

Korson-McGregor features a complete spectrum of services including project auditing, training, consulting, mentoring, and software development. Our direct project consulting services range from systems definition and management to full time on-site coding assistance.

Korson-McGregor senior partners have extensive experience in software systems development and maintain ties with research universities. Our consultants are experts in object-oriented software development techniques, and are experienced in helping other developers acquire these skills. Korson-McGregor staff are recognized industry leaders who are authors of books and journal articles and regularly give invited tutorials and lectures at leading international conferences.

Senior Partners

Timothy D. Korson, Ph.D.
John D. McGregor, Ph.D.

Core Competencies

Korson-McGregor focus is consultation in advanced software development technologies and technology transfer activities that support object-oriented software development. Our services include:

software development consulting
quality assurance consulting
auditing services
training
project mentoring
assistance in setting up and sustaining a corporate object technology center (OTC)

 

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.

Software Development Consulting

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 teams.

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 life insurance.

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 delivery schedules.

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.

 

Quality Assurance Consulting

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.

  Auditing Services

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 software development.

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 made.

Corporate-level 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.

Training

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 projects.

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.

Project Mentoring

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.

  OTC Development

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.

 

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