Projects of the Experimental Software Engineering Group at the University of Maryland

Technology Transfer


Improving productivity, lowering development costs, and improving the quality of software products all depend upon the introduction of new technology (new software tools, new hardware, and new processes) to the development process. Industry, unfortunately, often believes in the folklore that there is a magic "silver bullet" that will solve this problem. Instead, the introduction of new technology is a slow, costly, and time consuming activity. What is the best way to address technology transfer within the software development domain?


To develop an understanding (e.g., a process model) that describes the introduction of new technology within a software development organization and to develop a theory that can be used to help improve this technology transfer process.


Experimentation, innovation, technology insertion


Marvin Zelkowitz


Zelkowitz, M. V. Assessing Software Engineering Technology Transfer Within NASA, Technical Report NASA-RPT-003-95, NASA/GSFC, January, 1995.

This represents a NASA-wide study of software engineering technology transfer across NASA. it describes in detail the steps various groups took in evaluating, prototyping, and inserting new technology into their development organization. Technologies such as Ada, Cleanroom, CLIPS, TAE, inspections, and object oiented design are discussed. ( Postscript )

Zelkowitz M. V., Software Engineering technology infusion within NASA, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 43, 3 (August, 1996) 250-261.

This is a condensed version of the above NASA technical report.

Zelkowitz M. V. and B. Cuthill, Application of an information technology model to software engineering environments, Journal of Systems and Software, 37, 1 (1997) 27-40.

This describes a model of technology innovation in the software development domain. It introduces two concepts: Process horizon (the idea that there is a limit to process complexity in any environment. If passed, errors result) and technological drift (the idea that all environments are improving over time due to general development of new technology. It is important to measure a given environment's deviation from this general trend.)

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Last updated: June 26, 1997 by Marvin Zelkowitz