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10 Technologies for Enterprise Processes Introduction The Department of the Navy is a huge large business enterprise that manages multiple large-scale processes including platform and weapons acquisitions, supplier management, logistics management, resource planning, and personnel management and training. Powerful new information technologies are becoming available that can be applied to these enterprise processes to significantly improve overall efficiency and effectiveness. The panel believes that these technologies will enable new ways of conducting business that will lead to faster, lower-cost development and acquisition programs; more efficient logistics systems; reduced manpower requirements; faster and more nimble planning capability; and greatly improved warfighting effectiveness. The complexity of the Navy Department enterprise is growing, while at the same time funding constraints are forcing the organization to become more efficient. The imperative of "faster, better, cheaper" is now being applied to every phase of the acquisition process, as well as to operations. The combination of increasing complexity and constrained resources will drive the development of new operational constructs, or processes, to achieve mission-required capabilities. Building the capabilities necessary to meet Navy and Marine Corps requirements demands highly specialized analyses and understanding and the integration of multiple disciplines into a set of enterprise processes that will extend across the entire spectrum of naval activities. The panel has identified categories of Navy Department activity as being particularly amenable to the application of information and management technology
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and has defined the following set of model enterprise processes: simulation-based acquisition, agile commerce, real-time logistics management, resource planning, dynamic mission planning, and system of systems. Simulation-Based Acquisition Description of the Technology Simulation-based acquisition (SBA) is a potentially revolutionary process for the acquisition of complex platforms or systems. It integrates all acquisition activities starting with requirements definition through production, deployment, and operational support into a computational network with a common database. This integrated approach enables the optimization of design, manufacturing, and life-cycle support functions associated with complex systems. At the initiation of a proposed SBA procurement, government and industry teams will create virtual prototypes of candidate systems that could include warships, aircraft, communications systems, logistic systems, information systems, or other complex systems. These virtual prototypes will be fully linked to an integrated product database and are used by all participants during acquisition, development, and operation throughout the life cycle of the products. SBA is based on a computer environment that integrates existing models and simulations (and new ones if required), engineering and physics, and operations and doctrine to evaluate overall product value and cost, to guide the development process, and to support operation of the product during its service life. Figure 10.1 shows a schematic representation of the SBA process. SBA comprises an advanced scalable architecture, an integrated product database that includes product attributes; an interactive, immersive synthetic environment; integrated collaboration tools; analysis and modeling tools packaged with standard, interoperable interfaces; smart agents to assist in information collection and integration; and advanced product and process-optimization tools. Relevance to the Naval Forces SBA allows decisionmakers the unprecedented ability to examine design and operational issues for proposed systems by interacting with the virtual prototype of the product. High-fidelity simulations allow acquisition authorities to visualize and analyze the virtual prototype in distinct phases of its life cycle. Virtual prototypes allow officials to "fly before you build" to examine alternative designs, performance, and cost. They are thus able to conduct studies that include mission value, affordability, performance tradeoffs, manning, maintenance, and the like. Government and industry personnel work together to build the right product, the right way, at the right price, on schedule.
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FIGURE 10.1 Schematic representation of the SBA process. Technology Status and Trends A key technology for SBA is the smart product model (SPM), which is a software product consisting of a set of standards and protocols that allow legacy databases—object oriented, relational, and/or flat file—to be integrated into a persistent distributed repository for all information related to a design/development project. Tools and users can access any piece of information and/or any method in the SPM without having to consider which database or databases contain the data. Users can avoid large monolithic and unmanageable data storage approaches, and their attendant problems, through the use of agile distributed and modular information management solutions. The SPM product provides users with standard base classes that are usable by any selected instance. Users have complete flexibility in defining or recycling the schema they use for storing information. Similarly, users have complete flexibility in determining which databases to use and how to physically and logically partition data so that information relevant to a particular context can be stored locally for fast access. A context is a group of tools joined together in a
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federation to perform some analysis or design task. Every context has a run-time-interface (RTI), which provides the infrastructure for information exchange, and a context manager, which controls and manages the tools. For example, a design context may consist of a computer-aided design (CAD) tool, a database, and the RTI. The database would be the local SPM and could contain pointers to data in other local SPMs. The SPM's distributed heterogeneous architecture allows users to create logical groupings of information germane to a specific analysis task without recompiling or relinking tools or databases. These capabilities allow companies to form virtual enterprises and share design information without having to redo their internal data-management approaches. The product SPM provides this functionality via a globally unique naming convention, the minimal set of base classes mentioned above, and an integrating SPM (ISPM) that provides a card-catalog functionality for all persistent data stored in any database associated with a selected instance. By keeping the infrastructure simple, the amount of work that users have to do to transition their legacy data into the SBA environment is minimized. SBA users can use the SPM product to produce a global SPM that is the virtual integration of all databases in a selected instance as well as local SPMs that are groupings of one or more databases. Local SPMs are usually part of a context, a high-level architecture federation of tools established to work selected aspects of the design, analysis, or manufacturing processes. Local SPMs are formed to improve efficiency, but they also allow members of a virtual enterprise to recycle their SPMs from project to project. As long as the databases in the local SPMs conform to the SPM product standards, they can seamlessly integrate simultaneously into both local and global SPMs. The SPM architecture does the following: Supports legacy databases with minimal changes. Allows organizations to integrate their current data repositories with minimal changes so that the transition to SPM is smooth and low cost. Offers extensibility and scalability so that it can accommodate large designs as well as the additions of new databases as the design progresses. Creates virtual enterprises by integrating logically and physically distributed COTS databases and custom databases. Much of this functionality is provided by COTS databases, but the integrating functionality must be provided by the SPM product. Provides seamless access to all data for SBA tools. Tools must be able to locate any information in the SPM and, once it is located, work with it without requiring database-specific interfaces. The SPM architecture supports the implementation of intelligent information that is capable of responding to changes, such as the relocation of a component,
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and to user inputs for data. The current paradigm to implement intelligent information lets users and tools invoke object behaviors/methods as needed, but the overall SPM architecture supports other approaches to facilitate the integration of legacy data and future developments in data-storage technology. Much of the requisite technologies for SBA exist or are being developed under multiple efforts in the information technology area. In particular, a DARPA program focused on simulation-based design (SBD) is developing a prototype system that is a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment for developing and using virtual/real prototypes. A SBD system is configured for a specific product application, linking copies of the SBD core-processing system together with application-specific software tools selected for the particular functions being addressed. Engineers are able to quickly generate a virtual prototype for an initial conceptual design to validate feasibility and provide a basis for cost estimation by reusing data from previous systems and by importing data from external sources. The virtual products can be analyzed with existing or legacy analysis tools and can be operated in virtual environments combining real and simulated products. With SBD, engineers are able to capture design processes, such as the steps in designing a power subsystem for a ship, as mega-programs—programs made up of several programs—that are manipulated and operated exactly like the virtual prototypes. Development proceeds within SBD by establishing product constraints and requirements and by constructing increasingly detailed virtual prototypes of the product. The virtual prototypes (software models) can be viewed, interacted with, analyzed, and operated like real prototypes. As design changes are made, the prototypes are analyzed and evaluated by operation within synthetic physics-based environments. SBD not only manages these design artifacts, with built-in configuration management tools, but also allows engineers to incorporate components of different levels of fidelity within a virtual prototype. Complex product development typically involves multiple heterogeneous organizations. The interconnectivity needed for product development requires support for defining, managing, and enforcing development processes and the resulting work flow. In a large-scale product development enterprise, each team has its own data, product, and process models. A collaborative SBD system is configured as a collection of copies of the common software. The common software is called a core processing system. The software units that make up the core processing system work together to provide seamless access to all public resources in the entire SBD system so that tools do not need to deal with resource location and allocation issues. Each user interface provides access to the rest of the SBD system as mediated by the core processing system units. SBD allows users to maintain the product data in one or more databases—legacy or new, flat file, relational, or object oriented—that can be either centralized or distributed. Each core processing system maintains an object model that is accessed from its user interface for visualization and interaction. To keep the data consistent across all participating sites in a collaborative
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environment, SBD uses a publish-and-subscribe protocol to communicate between core processing system sites. A core processing system manages the communication and coordination by publishing classes of objects that it owns (i.e., that it can create and manage) and subscribing to the classes that it is interested in as well as through messages (remote method invocation). Each core processing system publishes the kinds of data and services that it can provide. It will respond to requests for data, services, or publication of certain data. In this sense the core processing system provides a gateway for all communication with other SBD systems. Tools subscribe to the data that it is using so that it can be automatically informed of changes. The publish-and-subscribe protocol ensures that relevant attribute information is propagated to all interested users. The publish-and-subscribe interface can be used to protect proprietary data and enforce security policies. It is up to the overall system management to define minimum information interchange requirements. This design gives tools the ability to access any public data in the product model via standard procedures without needing to consider the physical or logical location of the data. The primary technology areas involved in SBA and SBD are multidisciplinary analysis and optimization, advanced modeling and simulation, data visualization and interaction technologies, collaboration technologies, software interface and standards technologies, and advanced computing technologies. Future Impact on Naval Force Capabilities and Missions SBA will have a major impact on the Department of the Navy because it will reduce both resource requirements and risk associated with the acquisition process. In addition, SBA will substantially increase the quality of the systems being acquired. As a result, the Navy Department will be able to more efficiently procure systems that meet their validated requirements. Platforms will be able to perform a wider variety of missions and interoperate more efficiently with other platforms and services because of refinements designed into platforms during the concept-development phase. Life-cycle costs can be determined early in the design phase so that appropriate trades can be made with real-time review of the cost and benefits. By using SBA, the Navy Department should be able to improve the value-price ratio for future systems by a factor of at least two. Technology Developments Needed Recent advances in computer and networking technology are bringing SBA closer to reality. Achieving the full capability promised by SBA, however, presents a number of technology challenges. One of the most important needs is the establishment of standards for software interfaces. Object-oriented technology offers promise toward these needs but will not be adequate without some significant extensions. Also, it does not address the use of existing legacy software
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and databases. One method of dealing with these needs is the use of wrappers, which are interfaces added to existing code to make it compliant with the common object request broker architecture (CORBA). Because these methods are not optimized for data exchange and generally are relatively slow, they are only a temporary solution. A second area that must be improved to meet SBA needs is that of database management. Complex systems often contain tens of millions of parts. Each part can have tens of thousands of bytes of data associated with it. Accessing, interacting, and managing this massive database is a substantial challenge. Human-computer interaction technologies that use immersive visualization to view data in a hierarchical manner and parse the data consistent with viewer needs are an important part of developing database management capabilities. The ability to perform SBA in a rapid manner will be limited by computation rates for at least a decade. Design and analysis codes, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes to deal with fluid flow around a ship or structural-loading codes, frequently take hours to run today. If these codes are to be run interactively, improved efficiencies and faster computers are needed. The panel predicts that computer power will continue to grow at about the same pace it has over the past 40 years (see Chapter 2 of this report), so that this area should not be a fundamental limitation to SBA growth but rather will support evolutionary growth over the next few decades. Product life-cycle development already makes use of extensive computer-based analysis and simulation models. However, the current tools and products cannot be integrated to form a unified SBD system. Today there are no requisite sets of tools that are directly suitable for defining and developing virtual prototypes. The tools used in the product-development process do not integrate well with each other or with other types of tools and do not always have compatible data types. Although there are tools to support collaboration between people engaged in collaborative design, there are no software tools to coordinate the collaboration between tools within concurrent engineering processes. Commercial technology and standards that address tool-to-tool communication (e.g., CORBA and/or Internet protocols) are beginning to become available. Also, standards are beginning to emerge for representing virtual prototypes. The virtual-reality modeling language (VRML) has been explicitly designed to produce virtual prototypes that can be placed in synthetic worlds and interact with other objects in these worlds. Leveraging these commercial developments and Navy development focused on integration and mission dependent software will enable rapid advances in overall SBA capability. Development Sources Most of the individual technologies in this area are commercially driven. However, the development of a high-level architecture that allows Navy, Marine
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Corps, and DOD models to interoperate with other simulations, the integration of the software from different sources, and the modeling and simulation of systems and mission performance should be supported by the U.S. government. It is anticipated that government and commercial development will continue along these lines. Foreign Technology Status and Trends The United States leads the technology is this area and is expected to maintain a lead as long as sufficient investment continues. The lead may narrow if other countries increase their spending is this area. Time Scale for Development and Insertion DARPA is currently running a demonstration project in SBA. SBA technology appears to be ripe for adoption by the military Services, although the simulation tools will have to be tailored for specific acquisition applications. The capability to perform multidisciplinary optimization for complex product acquisition should be readily available by the year 2000, with ever increasing capability available thereafter. Agile Commerce The Cold War has left the United States with two parallel industrial infrastructures—one for defense and the other for commerce. Each sector relies on distinct manufacturing technologies and business practices. This legacy has not only made many defense products unaffordable but also has encumbered our industrial competitiveness in the global manufacturing scene. Today's marketplace is increasingly characterized by fierce global competition and complex customer behavior. Success in the 21st century will depend on the ability to respond quickly to a niche market demanding high-quality, customized products at the lowest possible cost. This drives the need for a unified, dual-purpose industrial base that can cater to both defense and commercial needs and has the ability to succeed in an environment dominated by continuous and unpredictable changes. The dual-use strategy can be realized by deploying various technologies and business practices. A flexible infrastructure allows a reconfigurable supplier network that is capable of producing a wide range of products. Lean manufacturing eliminates unnecessary inventory and product defects and minimizes the use of resources. Agile commerce is a new paradigm that encompasses and enhances the above strategies and reflects the ability to quickly adapt in a continuously changing requirements environment and to link those requirements to industrial suppliers and their manufacturing capabilities.
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Description of the Technology Agile commerce is the integration of innovative information technologies and business practices to implement an agile electronic network of customers, suppliers, and other service brokers to provide rapid procurement and production of supplies and materials. It is based on agent-based architecture and offers a set of services to enable the Navy Department and companies tied to the network to form and operate as a virtual enterprise. The Navy Department and industrial suppliers will be able to easily access and use agile commerce for efficient procurement and production of high-quality, customized products at substantially lower cycle time and costs. Agile commerce is envisioned to provide to the United States an integrated industrial base equipped to rapidly respond with highly customized solutions to customer requirements of any magnitude, thus reinstating the United States as the world leader in manufacturing. Relevance to the Naval Forces With increasing reliance on commercial development and suppliers, agile commerce will enable the Navy Department to accomplish the following: Rapidly respond to changing requirements; Optimize the use of human and machine resources; Form virtual enterprises with suppliers for efficient acquisition; and Perform customization of high-quality products at competitive prices. These capabilities are necessary to enable acquisition planners to acquire the right platforms and systems at the right cost and rapidly enough to meet operational requirements. To meet evolving operational needs, agile commerce capabilities allow a manufacturer-in-the-loop process for dynamic planning and conduct of operations. Technology Status, Trends, and Developments The agile commerce strategy is driven by matching business needs with advancements in information technology and electronic commerce. Advanced networking capabilities will link the information infrastructure of manufacturing enterprises to support agile business transactions. These advanced networks will connect and seamlessly integrate information about customers, multitiered suppliers, third-party brokers, and other relevant users. Accepted and emerging standards will be used to ensure the widest utility and to avoid duplication of existing hardware and software technologies. The agile commerce net will consist of three major technological elements as follows:
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Communication infrastructure; Intelligent agent-based services; and Information-formatting and delivery tool kits. Networking technology will continue to advance rapidly, driven by commercial interests and needs. To provide adequate security and interfaces to DOD databases, the Department of the Navy must support complementary standards, interfaces, and selected network technology. A DARPA-sponsored project, agile infrastructure for manufacturing (AIMS), is developing a pilot that is currently being applied to a limited set of major, second-tier, and small-business suppliers. Once the information infrastructure, technologies, and business practices have been validated, it is anticipated that AIMS or a similar rapid commerce capability would be ready for application to a large defense/commercial supplier base, spanning the U.S. industry. This should begin in 1998. Capability is expected to grow rapidly with time. Leveraging developments from other related areas, capability should double every 12 months for the next several years. Real-Time Logistics Management Description of the Technology Real-time logistics management (RTLM) is the near-real-time ability to plan, execute, monitor, and replan the availability of people, equipment, units, and supplies to support mission operations. To facilitate the complex interactions required for successful multidisciplinary coordination, all elements in the logistics chain should have access to the most current information related to the supplies and operations under consideration. That information must be presented in a form that can be understood by various disciplines and in a manner that highlights the impact of recent information on their own sphere of influence. The explosion in information technology makes possible revolutionary improvements in RTLM, and detailed knowledge of logistics information will be available instantly to all personnel from logistics managers to operators. Relevance to the Naval Forces The naval forces rely on the timely availability of assets and supplies as it supports a variety of missions at forward locations throughout the world. The Navy also transports the majority of supplies to support conflicts wherever they occur. Advanced RTLM technologies will provide the Department of the Navy with detailed planning, optimized scheduling, coordinated execution, and accurate visibility into assets, all of which are necessary in future operations. Recent experiences have often shown that needed supplies are not available because of
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incorrect requisitions, misshipments, or even incorrect labeling or storage locations. Currently, a work-around for these problems results in excessive ordering of needed supplies, frequently resulting in an overage of a factor of two. RTLM should eliminate these problems and reduce supply substantially. Technology Status, Trends, and Developments The United States is currently on the leading edge of an explosion in information-management technology that is making possible revolutionary improvements in RTLM. Among the most important technologies relevant to logistics management are autonomous smart agents for information collection and integration; interactive, integrated simulation; and process optimization. Recent developments in these areas and others are providing initial capabilities in several applications. In 2 years, there should be notable progress in functionality. In 10 years, a high degree of automation should be available for many of the logistics-management functions. By 2035, most of the RTLM information functions will be highly automated. Resource Planning Description of the Technology Resource planning is the decision-making process of acquiring necessary resources to meet organizational requirements. It requires that end-to-end thinking and systems engineering be applied to the planning process. It must extend beyond the individual system or platform and consider the joint mission requirements with other Services and nations and the concomitant capability. Resource planning must include the capability to compare alternative systems or platforms and to consider acquisition options. Full and accurate accountability must be employed to determine life-cycle costs. These capabilities are necessary to enable efficient resource planning. Relevance to the Naval Forces Because of the complexity of many systems, processes, or operations, resource planning becomes a highly nonlinear process. In these circumstances, integrated simulations for careful development and review of alternative solutions and informed decision-making are required. Employed in this manner, resource planning allows operators to optimize performance, schedule, and costs for selected plans.
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Technology Status, Trends, and Developments Resource-planning capabilities will be integrated into the simulation-based acquisition capability described above. This integration will allow the resource issues to be coupled with other mission plans and operations to construct alternative mission solutions and review in detail the value and cost of each option as it affects the total mission. By optimizing resource planning across the total mission, the naval forces will achieve significant improvements in mission effectiveness, efficient resource utilization, and large overall cost reductions. Dynamic Mission Planning Description of the Technology Dynamic mission planning (DMP) is the rapid, intelligent assembly and reassembly of necessary mission information to construct a dynamic representation and context for past, current, and projected mission operations. DMP will support simulations of plans and missions, using advanced distributed simulation technologies developed through DARPA and other agencies for programs such as the synthetic theater of war (STOW) and simulation-based design. DMP will incorporate coastal systems and fixed elements, as well as ships, weapons systems, environmental effects, and other dynamic elements. Behaviors of ships and other platforms and groups represented by higher-level commands will also be included. A major element of DMP is the analysis, evaluation, and integration of data that contain uncertainty or that may be totally incorrect. Relevance to the Naval Forces Dynamic mission planning will create a virtual battle space that will allow the Navy and Marine Corps to visually interact with all elements of a selected scenario. It will contain multiple levels of fidelity and enable operators to rapidly develop and evaluate multiple options. DMP will support three integrated functions: Strategy development, Plan generation, and Operations assessment. Because of the escalating complexity of these functions, development of the most effective plan requires complex analysis and understanding of multiple disciplines. DMP and the virtual battle space will provide multiple, interactive interfaces to the mission planning process and be usable by multiple users at all levels of activity. DMP, when coupled with the technologies in simulation-based
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acquisition, will provide a capability to create a much more optimized mission plan and to dynamically maintain that plan. Technology Status, Trends, and Developments The capability to incorporate data that contain uncertainty is one of the greatest challenges in constructing and maintaining an accurate plan. Multiple approaches are being developed to deal with uncertainty and should lead to substantial capability by the year 2000. The status and trends of these technologies are discussed in the simulation-based acquisition section of this chapter. System of Systems Description of the Technology A system of systems is an integration of a number of elements to form a larger, more complex system to accomplish a desired objective. Future missions will require coordinated action from integrated sea, air, and land forces that cannot be achieved by a single system or platform. A system of systems would include constellations of multiple system types, such as satellites, aircraft, ships, expeditionary units, and control centers. These individual elements, complex in and of themselves, together would constitute a complex system of systems that, when operated as an integrated entity, can achieve warfighting effectiveness greater than the sum of the individual elements. Efficient information exchange and communication links will be essential to the system of systems approach. Relevance to the Naval Forces The naval forces operate in a highly complex environment that contains many system components that change dynamically. Each of the Navy and Marine Corps platforms or weapon systems has the potential to be more effective in its mission objectives if it is interconnected with complementary systems in an appropriate manner. This approach will enable the Navy and Marine Corps to deploy its resources and achieve mission success at lower cost and risk. Technology Status, Trends, and Developments The technology and capabilities described in the section titled ''Simulation-based Acquisition" in this chapter provide the overall capability to model and evaluate the system-of-systems approach. These simulations allow the construct of a plan that uses the same capabilities as described in the section on dynamic mission planning. The status and trends of the technologies involved are as described in both of these sections.
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Recommendation Large-scale processes within the Department of the Navy, such as platform acquisition, logistics management, resource planning, mission planning, and personnel management, are major cost drivers of naval operations. Information technologies are becoming available that can revolutionize the execution of these enterprise processes with a resultant substantial reduction in manpower, cycle time, risk, and cost. Simulation-based acquisition is an example of a revolutionary approach for the acquisition of complex platforms and systems. The Department of the Navy should strongly embrace and support these information technologies for enterprise-wide processes.
Representative terms from entire chapter: