Improving Process Execution Efficiency through Collaboration Decision Support and Knowledge Management systems


Gary A. Whitted  and Bradley D. Mallare

Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp.





During the past year, Ball has completed research and development on several pilot projects that implement the key elements of Decision Support and Knowledge Management systems.  Each of these pilot projects has significantly improved the efficiency of the particular process being implemented.  In this session, each of the following will be demonstrated. 


Pilot project #1 incorporates process guidance, templates, program information, tools, and models; automates data collection, summarization, and presentation; and demonstrates implementation within a collaborative enterprise system. 



         Process execution reduced from greater than 30 day to 30 minutes or less.

         Application directly interfaces to several current and legacy database systems (D200, Avionics Planning Baseline, Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Database, and EDW) and automatically extracts needed information.

         Application allows analysts to focus on analysis rather than on data gathering.

         Application allows non-logistics personnel to obtain relevant data in relevant formats making critical information available to SPO and Warfighter personnel.

         Application allows SPO and Warfighter to access information on particular weapon system and view data in formats useful to them specifically.


Pilot project #2 demonstrates the ability of CEE to define a project workflow, automate a manual process, and integrate the data and tools through the enterprise environment.  This project demonstrates automated generation of application report, linking legacy databases and analysis tools in a collaborative environment. 



         Process execution reduced a 45 day process to 15 days

         Original process was executed monthly...at 45 day turnaround data was never current and continual backlog always existed... application corrected the critical issue

         Application interfaces directly to legacy database system (CAMS) and automatically extracts critical data

         Application reduces documentation and report preparation by automatically populating project excel spreadsheets...automatically imputing data to access databases...and automatically generating over 100 PowerPoint charts presenting the data. 


Pilot project #3 demonstrates true knowledge capture and significant process execution efficiency improvement.  Not only was knowledge captured using state-of-the-art collaborative enterprise technology, but the knowledge is managed and harnessed to facilitate timely, efficient study process execution. 



         Application provides an automated process for the creation and collection of study data.

         Application guides study participants through the activities needed to execute the study providing them "helper aides" and automatic activity direction and notifications (web-based) regarding what needs to be done, how to do it, and where to sent the data when complete.

         Application directly interfaces to current database systems (EDW) and automatically collects information needed by the study team reducing the overall time to gather and process information.

         Application enables an Integrated Product Team (IPT) to accomplish a directed study more quickly and efficiently by providing a semi-automated, distributed collaborative decision support environment for coordinating data collection, service life cost projection review and final results coordination.


Relevant Technologies: 

Knowledge Capture, Knowledge Management, Distributed Collaborative Environment (DCE), Decision Support System, KnowledgeKinetics (K2), Process Automation, Legacy Database Integration. 



Gary A. Whitted and Bradley D. Mallare, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp., Fairborn, Ohio, USA.  Emails: gwhitted@ball.com, Bmallare@ball.com


Short Bios:

Gary Whitted has over 19 years of engineering management experience and is currently the Program Manager for Ball¨s Distributed Collaborative Decision Support Technology program.  His R&D experience includes multiple large-scale software system domains (i.e., decision support systems, embedded weapon systems, modeling and simulation and management information). Mr. Whitted earned a Master of Software Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1989.


Bradley Mallare has over 14 years of software related experience and is currently the Chief Engineer for the Collaborative Technologies Solutions Group at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.  Mr. Mallare also serves as the Principal Investigator for the development of collaboration and decision support applications in the Collaborative Simulation Technology Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson AFB, OH.