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What they do
Distance Learning Delivery Inc.
DLD logo
DLD is disrupting the ways in which higher education & continuing medical education is being delivered. It is creating engaging content & sprinkling it with formative assessments. The results of those assessments (quizzes), along with other variables, provide analytics that are fed back to improve individual, community of learners, and instructor learning performance. DLD is creating inviting content & coupling it with a continuous improvement loop.
Say, for heart surgery, the typical teaching is done by the instructor stating, "Today I will show this to you." Instead, we are seeking to up-end this approach and have learners present questions to which they need answers, such as "How do I prevent bleeding and leakage in that anastomose end to side of the artery?" "If my patient is not a candidate for this procedure, what are my alternatives, along with pluses and minuses?" "What are the risks of this procedure and what are the corresponding mitigations?"
IEEE Software Magazine
IEEE Software logo
"To build the community of leading software practitioners." Stan Rifkin of our staff was an associate editor in chief for the areas of quality and management for the magazine. He actively solicited manuscripts and reviewers, and regularly helped authors and would-be authors improve their submissions. And he has been an active reviewer of prospective manuscripts and contributed original articles.
Journal of Enterprise Transformation
JET logo
Large and complex organizations need to continuously adapt to changes in the global environment, economies, and markets. This adaptation requires solutions that consider the role of organizations, knowledge, information, processes, strategy, and technology. This holistic approach integrates the needs of multiple stakeholders to create value and enable enterprise transformation.
This journal is a quarterly publication designed to provide a forum for original articles on trends, new findings, and ongoing research (both theory and application) related to enterprise transformation. JET brings together interdisciplinary research in management, industrial and systems engineering, information systems, organizational behavior, political science, economics, etc.
Stan Rifkin has been on its Editorial Board since its inception, was guest editor for a special issue, contributed to the inaugural issue, and regularly reviewed submitted manuscripts. It appears this journal ceased publication.
Wrike logo
Provides an interesting suite of capabilities to manage projects AND human resources. While we have not used it yet, it definitely looks interesting!
Quantitative Software Management Inc.
QSM logo
Provides the SLIM-suite of automated software project (macro-)estimating & tracking aids. Several Master Systems staff are accomplished users of QSM's tools.
Quantitative Software Management Associates
QSMA logo
An affiliate of QSM (above) that specializes in financial service institutions and the use of estimation information during project negotiations in a novel application of the Harvard Project on Negotiation. Michael Mah, the managing partner, was the editor in chief of IT Metrics Strategy, a respected journal on the practical applications of measurement.
SEER-SEM is a software project estimation tool that is at the WBS or component level (distinct from, say, macroestimation at the project level). Their SEER-SEM client lives inside Microsoft Project, so a project manager never has to leave Project to generate the list of tasks and to estimate duration and resource assignments.
Implementation Management Associates
IMA logo
Provides a step-by-step data-based method to plan & manage the human side of technological change. Since improvement = change, this approach is important -- even critical -- to the success of improvement initiatives. Several Master Systems staff members are certified in the expert use of the IMA methods.
ePM logo
Provides a means of looking inside a project to model the relationship between tasks and actors. Master Systems provided the SimVision predecessor solutions for software development projects. (On December 31, 2002, ePM purchased the assets of Vite, the original creator of SimVision, and now maintains the product.)
Ecomerc logoProvides an expert system for diagnosing & designing an organization. Master Systems uses that expert system, OrgCon, to help clients diagnose and improve organizational designs. Remember, our approach is one of mutual adaptation: the organization needs to change to accommodate the improved processes and the improved processes need to change to accommodate the organization. We use OrgCon to help us with the organization parts.
Empirical Software Engineering
A journal of results of field experiments -- the only one for software engineering! In this sense it is perhaps the most practical scientific journal in the software engineering field. There is an individual subscription rate. Stan Rifkin of our staff was a charter member of the Editorial Board.
CogNexus logoCreator of the best meeting techniques & technology available. Be sure to read about Wicked Problems, ones in which the texture of the problem changes as solutions are evaluated. Sounds like system requirements, doesn't it? Very elegant solution to focusing & recording meetings. We use these methods.
Certified Scrum Master logo"Scrum is an agile, lightweight process that can be used to manage and track software and product development. Wrapping existing engineering practices,... Scrum generates the benefits of agile development with the advantages of a simple implementation." Stan Rifkin of our staff is a Certified ScrumMaster.
(Prof. Barry Boehm's) Center for Systems & Software Engineering at the University of Southern California
Master Systems is a Visiting Associate Affiliate of this Center, a leader in creating "evolving and unifying theories and practices of systems and software engineering," including the value-based approach. It is also the home of the free Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO II) software project estimation tool.
Future Search Network
Future Search Network logo
Master Systems is a charter member of this organization. A Future Search is a type of group work wherein goals are set, prioritized, and action plans developed and committed to ... all in three days! It has a strong theory base and numerous books have been written on the subject.

AgileAlliance logo
"The Agile Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the concepts of agile software development, and helping organizations adopt those concepts." It is the author of the famous "Manifesto for agile software development." Master Systems was a member of this organization.

Sys Dyn Soc logo
System dynamics is a method for studying and managing complex feedback systems, such as one finds in business and other social systems. In fact it has been used to address practically every sort of feedback system. While the word system has been applied to all sorts of situations, feedback is the differentiating descriptor here. Feedback refers to the situation of X affecting Y and Y in turn affecting X perhaps through a chain of causes and effects. One cannot study the link between X and Y and, independently, the link between Y and X and predict how the system will behave. Only the study of the whole system as a feedback system will lead to correct results. Master Systems has been a sponsor of the System Dynamics Society.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Software Engineering Division
Experimenter & disseminator of software engineering experience. Its web site is now behind a NASA firewall and no longer publicly available.

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