Decision Dynamics, Inc.
Company Profile
Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) is creating and applying a unique set of state-of-the-art decision support tools that provide project planners, program managers and policy makers with the ability to quickly analyze the consequences of multiple “what-if?” scenarios. In doing so, these tools quantify the impacts for any mix of management policies, resource constraints and mission requirements for major weapons systems. DDI’s software models provide the next step in management support analysis tools by combining the principles of traditional project management methods with the unique features of the system dynamics simulation methodology. The resulting sets of models simulate the dynamic behavior over the life cycle of a program, from design and engineering, into production, through operations and support.
Company Background
Louis Edward Alfeld, ScD., founded DDI in 1979 to apply system dynamics modeling methods to improve management decision-making. Over the past decade, DDI has developed more than two dozen software products that combine innovative, sophisticated design with user-friendly interfaces and high quality performance to provide customers with powerful management support tools. DDI has actively participated in DoD’s SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) program, successfully completing fourteen DoD Phase I SBIR contracts. Ten of these programs resulted in Phase II awards. An additional two more of the Phase I programs are currently under Phase II evaluation. Two of the completed Phase II programs, the WorkFlow simulation model and the FleetSight life cycle support simulation tool, have entered the Phase III commercial phase. DDI, located in Waldorf, MD, is actively engaged in researching, developing and implementing state-of-the-art simulation modeling technology.
System Dynamics
The science of system dynamics was invented at MIT by Jay W. Forrester in the 1960’s and has grown to worldwide acceptance as a powerful tool for modeling the behavior of complex systems. Many interlocking feedback links and non-linear relationships characterize today’s defense acquisition programs and resource management programs. Traditional analytical tools lack the firepower needed to unravel the dynamic behavior generated by such complex programs. System dynamics has that power. System dynamics models capture real-world, cause-and-effect relationships and replicate real-world system behavior. System dynamics provides a surprisingly simple, yet accurate, method for modeling the management decision-making processes embedded in complex programs. Because the models incorporate the underlying causal mechanisms, simulation can produce very realistic behaviors over a wide range of alternative “what-if?” assumptions and scenarios. The models’ tightly woven causal logic also eases the problem of data support. System dynamics models can operate under varying data availability and data quality conditions while still producing useful results.
Decision Dynamics, Inc. Market Position
DDI has pioneered the application of system dynamics modeling methods, establishing a unique leadership position in the evolving field of decision-support technology. Within that field, system dynamics represents a growing segment that generally consists of two arenas, consulting services and software products. Consulting services range from “soft” presentations on “systems thinking” to “hard” modeling in which clients actively participate in developing functional simulations of their companies or operations.
DDI offers a unique new approach to help our customers realize all the potential rewards from modeling with ADEPT tools. DDI creates a support relationship exactly tailored to meet a program’s specific needs. DDI assists in data collection, model creation, validation studies, “what-if?” scenario building, results analysis, and presentation of conclusions. DDI can help improve program performance by steering decision-makers away from high-risk options and identifying key leverage points for maximum performance. While providing highly qualified staff support, DDI also gives program staff the hands-on training they need to understand and operate the models themselves. Thus, program managers will not become wedded to a long-term contractor dependency, but can develop their own independent analytical capability over time. DDI’s long familiarity with FleetSight and WorkFlow, extensive experience with its application to DoD and commercial programs, and firm commitment to continuing software upgrades make DDI the company of choice for the transition to twenty-first century total ownership cost (TOC) requirements and to achieving excellence across all aspects of program management.
DDI is currently in the process of applying two of its most mature modeling tools to address management concerns within the DoD and commercial environments. These successes have established FleetSight (life cycle support model) and WorkFlow (process model) as the first successful Phase III commercial DDI simulation modeling tools.