Pathfinder is a comprehensive suite of technologies for life-cycle cost justification, cost/benefit analysis, integrated performance prediction, quantified trade-off analysis, and management decision-making for individual project selection, monitoring, and control.
Pathfinder, a KBSI-led effort in partnership with Texas A&M University (TAMU), focused on the design and development of a comprehensive suite of technologies for life-cycle cost justification, cost/benefit analysis, integrated performance prediction, quantified trade-off analysis, and management decision-making for individual project selection, monitoring, and control. The goals of Pathfinder addressed the need for life cycle costing in depot environments, where the operational benefits of acquiring and maintaining weapons systems must be continually balanced.
This suite of technologies developed under Pathfinder, in the Accelerated Technology Application of Cost Knowledge (ATACK) program, leverages years of research in affordability, cost/benefit analysis, methods engineering, high productivity modeling tools development, and educational methods development. The ATACK program, leveraging the Cost Modeling Handbook developed under NSF MOTI funding, developed a set of affordability prediction technologies, methods, and educational resources to create a framework for rapidly assembling, testing, and fielding TCBOM models. These technologies include job cost evaluation systems and applications, workflow management simulation models, a re-configurable cost/benefit model application, and a life cycle cost model for use in a comprehensive 3-D product development environment. The Pathfinder technology was initially applied in the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) and the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) support facilities.
In addition to the transition of actual research technology into a production application, a major focus of Pathfinder was to discover ways to make this transition efficient, rapid, and affordable. In this respect, the Pathfinder project achieved in developing innovative methods and technologies that make the U.S.'s vast asset base of research results more productive.
In addition, Pathfinder's rapid implementation cycle enabled simultaneous creation of several commercializable products. The KBSI SMARTCOST® product that existed before the start of the effort was extended significantly. A new product, SMARTSTAT™, evolved from the need to apply robust Monte Carlo simulation techniques to the implementation of cost and benefits estimation models. Recognizing the value of the rapid simulation of process execution costs, we also developed a built in simulator for the KBSI PROSIM® tool.