Methodology

Olympic Consulting Group is committed to raising the maturity level of IT shops’ software engineering capability through effective knowledge transfer. We maintain a high degree of flexibility and seek to tailor our approach to each of our client’s unique needs. Our approach to knowledge transfer typically includes the following phases:
  • Assessment of client needs
  • Proposal for approach
  • Planning and preparation
  • Training execution
  • Post-training mentoring

Assessment of client needs

The software engineering capability of any given IT shop is highly dependent on the skills of the staff, the types of projects being undertaken and the way in which software development is conducted. We assess these factors as rapidly as possible to determine the staff’s knowledge gaps, the appropriate techniques that should be employed based on the type of work conducted, and any changes to how projects are executed to best encourage an engineering approach. Factors we look for include:
  • Current Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
  • Examples of current requirement and design models and specifications
  • Team make up (e.g., analysts, designers, developers, testers)
  • Existing skill set and skill gaps
  • Team division of duties and proximity (e.g., is any work outsourced?)
  • Business customers (level of involvement, proximity)
  • Type of software developed (e.g., custom vs. COTS, OLTP vs. Data Warehousing, small vs. large, new vs. enhancements)
  • Typical project timelines and constraints
  • Client issues and concerns
  • Client software engineering goals and objectives

Proposal for approach

We appreciate that there is no “one size fits all” approach to training and knowledge transfer. Depending on the client needs, we may propose a more formal multi-day classroom training that covers a full spectrum of analysis and design techniques, or we may propose just-in-time targeted training to teach only specific techniques at specific points in time. Some clients may not need formal training at all, but prefer hands-on mentoring as the teaching approach. The bottom line is that we are entirely flexible and dedicated to finding the most effective approach that will work for you.

Planning and preparation

Our core curriculum covers the full range of analysis and design techniques. We are able to tailor our courses to reflect your shop’s selected notation (e.g., Martin ERD vs. UML class diagrams), and to reflect the appropriate style, based on whether your software is predominately object-oriented, relational, structured or a mix. (A mix of each is most common.) It is also common for us to customize the course’s examples and exercises to reflect your business subject matter (e.g., banking, wireless, manufacturing, etc…). We believe people learn better when the topic is geared toward their own industry and projects.

Our standard training modules include:
  • Methodology overview
  • Requirements Gathering:
    • Project charter
    • Context modeling
    • Event & Use Case Modeling
    • Data Modeling or Class Modeling and state modeling
    • UI prototyping
  • Design Specification:
    • Functional Design Specification (external design)
    • Internal Design Specification (object-oriented or structured)
We also offer additional courses on project management and object-oriented design principles through our strategic partners.

Training execution

An industry expert with over 20 years of experience delivers all of OCG’s training. Training is conducted by either David A. Ruble, OCG senior partner & chief methodologist, and/or Meilir Page-Jones, OCG strategic partner. Both are skilled practitioners and internationally recognized authors as well as entertaining and engaging facilitators. Depending on client preferences, training is typically done at the client’s site and may include lecture, open forum discussion and optionally, a case study for hands-on practice. It is vital to ensure the training is delivered in close proximity to the time when the techniques will actually be used on real projects.

Post-training mentoring

Our experience has shown us that it is optimal to have expert mentoring available as staff attempt new software engineering techniques for the first time. Most people learn best by doing – therefore, classroom training serves an introduction, but the permanent adoption of the technique occurs on the job. OCG consultants are available as project mentors in a variety of roles:

Template development

If your shop does not have templates for specific portions of the SDLC, we can provide OCG’s standard templates, customize third-party templates provided by your CASE tool vendor, or assist in tailoring documents specifically for you.

Periodic expert review

We can provide period on-site, in-person or off-site review of software engineering deliverables. We assess the completeness, correctness and overall quality improvement of the documents and models. Our review recognizes staff progress and achievement and makes suggestions for additional improvements. We review not only the models, but also the quality and effectiveness of written communications, including organization, sentence structure, clarity and definitions.

Project coach and/or practitioner

If appropriate, OCG can provide extended on-site project mentoring to large groups of software engineers. Quite often, learning-by-example is a highly effective tool. By having an OCG expert writing actual specifications on real projects, your staff can more easily follow the examples and better appreciate the appropriate level of detail and rigor that should go into a specification.

OCG has conducted methodology training and mentoring a wide variety of clients including:
  • DHL
  • Citadel
  • Getty Images
  • Morgan Stanley / Barra
  • AT&T Wireless
  • T-Mobile
  • VoiceStream Wireless
  • Onvia.com
  • Weyerhaeuser Corporation
  • State of Washington
  • Long & Foster Real Estate
  • GE Capital Leasing
  • Port of Seattle
  • American Express
  • Technology Transfer Institute
  • Public Service Company of Denver
  • GJK & Associates

Click to learn more about OCG's career opportunities, methodology mentoring and training and download publications:

Contact




Inquiries: info@ocgworld.com

Phone: (253) 946-2690
Fax: (253) 269-7455

Mailing:
P. O. Box 4008
Federal Way, WA 98063

Practical Analysis & Design


Practical Analysis and Design for Client/Server and GUI Systems is essential reading for developers, analysts, project managers, senior IT executives, information architects and any software professional responsible for the success of a project. The techniques and core competencies presented are as relevant in today's environments as they were when it was written... ​

...a timeless classic

Practical Analysis and Design for Client/Server & GUI Systems
By: David Ruble
Foreward by: Ed Yourdon
Prentice-Hall
1997 - 544 pages, now in soft cover
ISBN: 0-13-521758-X

Reader reviews: "I have read this book three times, and each I learn something new. It is nice to have a book that is independent of any development platform, and in PLAIN ENGLISH to boot. This book is more valuable than the course I had taken in college."

"It's the best book I've ever read about analysis and design techniques for building systems quickly and effectively . . . I've been studying this stuff for years, and Dave has written the clearest explanation of event modeling I've ever read."