Holmes-Tucker International, Inc., is now doing business as HTii, a name change that highlights an expanded suite of services the company can provide its customers.
HTii services now include comprehensive IT solutions, contract administration, database application development, aviation systems engineering support, facilities logistics design, enterprise architecture and IBM Jazz lifecycle project management.
“With so many new capabilities added to our core business we needed a new name and logo to emphasize them to the public,” said HTii CEO Dorothy Hammond.
Even the mundane task of navigating the arcane regulations governing military contracts has led to a new service – contract administration. Through years of managing its own contracts with NAVAIR, HTii developed standardized procedures, spreadsheets, calculations and reports that made what once was enormously difficult much closer to routine.
“We’ve taken most of the pain out of something small contractors really struggle with,” Hammond said.
Founded in 1989, HTii specializes in creating applications to manage the enormous amounts of data produced by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) when designing, building and testing new aircraft.
“Data management consumes a lot of expensive engineering time,” Hammond said. “Our products streamline the task and help engineers extract useful information from the data generated.”
One of HTii’s first applications was the Requirements Management System (RMS). It’s a user-friendly interface for an IBM program called DOORS, which manages engineering requirements for new aviation systems. Although extremely powerful, DOORS is complex and costly and requires extensive training to use. But with RMS HTii’s clients can add, delete and modify requirements in a familiar Microsoft Word format. Trained HTii analysts then export the updated Word documents back into DOORS.
Following the success of RMS, the company went on to create more time-saving applications and management solutions for NAVAIR:
• Test Information Management System (TIMS), which collects and manages flight test data.
• Ship/Shore Aviation Requirements (SSAR), an online database for compiling and standardizing specifications for aircraft hangar and maintenance facilities. The Navy now requires SSAR for all new aircraft facilities onshore and aboard ship.
• Holmes-Tucker Autotailoring Tool (HTAT), a database application that streamlined the selection and scoring of checklist questions required for a formal evaluation called the Systems Engineering Technical Review (SETR). HTAT shortened the process from multiple engineers working days on a checklist to less than an hour for each in most cases.
• Custom integrations of IBM’s Jazz lifecycle project management software with DOORS and Rational Systems Architect (RSA) for managing aircraft development from start to finish.
• Using HTii employees’ military aviation experience – from test pilot to maintenance chief – to support Navy and Marine Corps class desk officers, who are responsible for engineering issues on specific aircraft.
“For each new task we added new resources – servers, software, developers, network engineers, aircraft systems engineers, data management specialists,” Hammond said. “And we realized we had evolved to the point where these quantitative improvements made the company qualitatively different – able to offer new business services we couldn’t provide before.”
As an example, HTii’s experience with Jazz coupled with years of lessons learned upgrading network and server configurations in the company’s Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and California offices led to another new business offering: IT/network engineering services. HTii now offers comprehensive IT solutions ranging from cloud service integration to software configuration and support.
Equipped with Jazz, RSA, DOORS and enhanced IT capabilities, HTii is now able to manage engineering requirements through all stages in the development of a new aircraft. The stages, traditionally arranged in a V, begin on the left with architecture of the overall system through requirements development to aircraft construction at the bottom of the V. The ascending right-hand leg of the V contains the verification and testing stages that prove the aircraft can perform as designed.
“We’re now doing everything on the left side for customers and some of the verification stages on the right,” Hammond said. “Our goal is to extend those services through the rest of the right-hand stages – testing, logistics, maintenance and eventual retirement from the fleet.”