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Stan Rifkin ...  
 gave a presentation, "Making better decisions: Critical thinking and creative problem solving," at the Akima leadership off-site, Washington DC area. Akima's parent company, NANA Dev. Corp., is a product of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, aimed at creating value and income to Alaska native people. The presentation was February 27, 2017 (and the year before, too), and can be accessed by clicking here.
 gave a presentation on how traditional project management does not support knowledge work (such as systems and software development) at the Washington DC chapter of the Project Management Institute on September 28, 2016, at the George Washington University. The presentation can be accessed by clicking here.
 wrote a letter to IEEE Software Magazine in the March/April 2014 issue in response to the editor in chief asking whether software was better, worse, or about the same as in the past. The letter (click here to see it) suggests that the product quality has been successively worse and offers that the primary reason is our consumer value on rapid delivery over all other attributes. And there are suggestions for future ways to improve product quality in the short letter.
 was the keynote speaker of the 2013 SEPG North American conference and with his colleague, Dr. Byron Fiman, was a workshop presenter at the 2014 SEPG North American conference. The presentations can be found on the Papers & Presentations page
 presented at the 2013 INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) International Symposium and 2013 National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering conference on work informed by his participation in the Systems Engineering Research Center's Helix project to characterize the defense-oriented systems engineering workforce. The presentations can be found on the Papers & Presentations page.
 participated on a panel, "The role of judgment in software estimation," at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), May 10, 2009, in Vancouver, Canada. The panel was convened by Steve Fraser and included the participation of Barry Boehm, so well-known for the COCOMO software estimation tool; Magne Jorgensen, the advocate for improving our understanding of judgment in estimation; and Hakan Erdogmus, the editor in chief of IEEE Software  Magazine. Click here for a link to the announcement.
 presented on March 24, 2009, at the San Diego chapter of the Society for Software Quality an improved version of his "Is there a disconnect between organizational strategy and quality?" It was originally presented at the July 2008 joint meeting of the San Diego chapters of the American Society for Quality and the Society for Software Quality. As quality professionals why is it that we have to fight so hard to convince our organizations to adopt quality principles and practices? Might it be because in the appropriate priorities for our organizations quality is not placed in the top three? This presentation frames quality improvement initiatives in terms of organizational strategy and explains where -- in different strategies -- quality ranks. It also presents how to re-frame quality in terms of what each strategy is trying to optimize. In the speaker's experience, this re-framing remarkably accelerates the adoption of quality initiatives.
 was the presenter of "Software reliability: What is it, how to measure it, and how to obtain it" at the September 2008 Meeting of the San Diego Chapter of the Society for Software Quality. The subject of reliability historically focuses on a physical condition (that is, applies to hardware), but, of course, that is not applicable to software. Instead, software reliability expresses aspects of the condition of failure-free operation for a specified mission time with respect to a given set of requirements. Over 100 software reliability models have been reported, so we'll try to make some sense of categories of them. Most literature on software reliability is mathematical and this presentation will try to be conceptual rather than rely on mathematical details. In addition, the assurance aspect will be addressed briefly: how to obtain increased reliability (in light of the definition).
 received the 2008-2009 Adjunct Faculty Outstanding Teacher Award from the graduate School of Engineering and Technology, National University.
 was the presenter of "Combining systems & software engineering: Who's in charge of organizational aspects?" at the May 2008 Meeting of the San Diego Chapter of INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering). The systems we develop impact those who consume and use them, but who in systems engineering is in charge of making sure to attend to the human and organizational impacts? We need to shift our world view in order to understand how our systems are seen by those impacted and then take responsibility for that impact, hopefully by prospectively designing the impact to be what we all intended. The presentation gives examples of the new world view and how we might be successful at adopting it.
 was the guest speaker at the eXtreme Programming San Diego monthly meeting on February 7, 2008. "It all started with bumpers in an automobile plant: What is lean and why does it matter to software development & management?" The seven wastes, just in time, push vs. pull, six rules of Kanban, flow, and visual control. These buzzwords will be illustrated in their original, manufacturing context, and then translated and applied to systems development and management. This presentation is agnostic to any particular software interpretation of lean. The presentation is from the perspective of a lean six sigma master black belt that Dr. Rifkin recently achieved.
 was the guest speaker at the eXtreme Programming San Diego monthly meeting on March 5, 2007. He spoke on how to use project/product risk (problem and solution risk, too) to select an appropriate life cycle and software engineering methods, based primarily on the work of Boehm and Turner, in their article, "Using risk to balance agile and plan-driven methods," for example. He illustrated the concepts using risk exposure to trade-off the gains made by planning against the prospect of market erosion due to product delays. What usually arises is the need for a hybrid life cycle that combines the best of the agile framework with the best of plan-driven. Dr. Rifkin showed the current thinking in how to construct that hybrid and how it works.
 has been acknowledged for his work on A Process Research Framework, the first major publication of the three-year work of the International Process Research Consortium, sponsored by the Software Engineering Institute. The text states, "We wish first to acknowledge Dr. Stan Rifkin, who played several different roles for us. He was our discussant at our first workshop, challenging our thinking and synthesizing what he heard from us as he listened to members' initial ideas. He then served as a reviewer, editor, and writer on framework drafts. We thank him for his several invaluable contributions." More information on the December 2006 report, including free e-book download, is available here.
 addressed an audience on February 4th, 2005, at the University of Limerick, Ireland, under the sponsorship of the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. His topic was, "Is the CMM an impediment to innovation?"
Master Systems Inc. ... 
 recently moved its web site (this one!) to a new hosting service (1&1.com) and streamlined the site in the process. There are still some growing pains, so your patience is appreciated in advance. As always, if you see something that needs attention, please click here to write a note to the
 was a donor to honor Prof. Barry Boehm, creator of the Center for Systems and Software Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, by dedicating a conference room in his name. In our humble opinion, he is one of the true leaders in the field of engineering, as every subject to which he has turned his attention has become a critical subfield of our profession. It was a token of our admiration of Dr. Boehm to contribute in some small way to recognize his impact. To read about the details click here.

This page last updated 3 December 2016.

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