HTii has partnered with IBM to offer naval aviation customers IBM Rational Jazz, the industry-standard lifecycle project management software.
“Jazz is one-stop shopping for managing an aircraft project from initial concept to retirement from the fleet,” said HTii President and CEO Dorothy Hammond.
Jazz integrates a suite of software, including two critical applications from IBM’s Rational Group: the Dynamic Object-Oriented Requirements System (DOORS) for requirements management and Rational Software Architecture (RSA) for enterprise architecture. Both are standard tools for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in all new aircraft programs.
“It’s a major step forward toward the NAVAIR vision of online, model-based systems engineering,” Hammond said.
Jazz incorporates additional capabilities normally available only as separate applications, such as project timeline tracking and multiple report formats including graphical and bulleted-text slides. Jazz also can import data from Microsoft Project, Excel and other vendors’ programs. All Jazz capabilities are bundled into one collaborative online platform accessible to all members of a project team no matter where they’re located.
HTii has already installed Jazz for NAVAIR’s P-8A Poseidon sub-hunter program and provides Jazz support and modifications for the UCLASS carrier-based unmanned aircraft program.
“It’s imperative for a small business like ours to offer the Navy more and better services if we’re going to survive the sequestration budget cuts,” said Hammond, whose employees support NAVAIR at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD and other Navy and Marine Corps bases around the country.
As an IBM business partner, HTii gains a significant advantage in the competitive military contracting world, according to Adam Hammett, the company’s Jazz applications manager.
“We have the full suite of Jazz software available for customer demonstrations, training and certification at our headquarters right across the street from NAVAIR at Pax River,” Hammett said. “And the IBM engineers we work with are on call for immediate customer assistance.”
Hammett noted that until now much of the data generated in the development of a new aircraft has traditionally been maintained by individual engineers responsible for specific subsystems in their own spreadsheets or databases. Other members of the project team can’t directly access that data and may only get to see it on PowerPoint slides during briefs. When team members leave, as inevitably happens during a multi-year development project, those individualized data records can be difficult for their replacements to operate and interpret.
But with Jazz, Hammett said, “Data all goes into one big repository where everyone on a project team can manipulate, link and analyze it with the same suite of tools.”
Hammett and software engineer Mark (K-9) Kilchenmann, an MIT engineering grad and former Navy test pilot, lead the installation team, which includes another programmer and the company’s IT engineer. The team configures the customer’s server, installs the software, makes sure all components talk to each other, adds certified users’ names, activates the demo program and tailors the application to each client’s requirements, including a customized dashboard. The company’s Jazz package also includes administration, maintenance, training and on-call support.
The HTii Jazz team has an ideal mix of talents, CEO Hammond said. “We’ve got a veteran engineer, K-9, who’s flown more kinds of airplanes than you can count, working with Adam and our other young whiz kids – the digital natives who’ve been immersed in computer technology pretty much since birth.”