Creating Modular Algorithms to Solve Multiple Client Needs
The Challenge: For another assignment, the analysis leveraged data that was collected during a large all-service military exercise and resulted in the identification of several sources of inherent error in the overall system of systems.
Our Approach: Fuel senior analysts conducted a major performance analysis of the national technical means SIGINT architecture for a major Intelligence Community organization.
The Result: Subsequent to the analysis, these errors were fixed, and the client saw an overall improvement in SIGINT geolocation accuracies. Further, beyond the obvious long-term benefits of improved system performance, the analytic techniques and software scripts developed by Fuel analysts provided payoff far beyond the initial architecture analysis, since they served as modular algorithms — effectively a library — available for subsequent studies.
Applying Analytic Techniques in Times of Crisis
The Challenge: Fuel senior analysts and data scientists were integral to the design, formulation, and initialization of the advanced analytics data mart of a counterterrorism community client as it was set up shortly after terrorist attacks. While traditional all-source intelligence analytic techniques were the primary tools at the outset, the organization’s vision was to create an advanced analysis cell that would serve as a petri dish for exploring new and disparate data sources, emerging technology, advanced analytic tools, and imaginative methodologies to bring it all together.
Our Approach: As key members of this team, Fuel analysts and data scientists played a critical role in turning this vision into reality over a 10-year period. As project subject matter experts and respected expert sources of knowledge on some of our nation’s most challenging adversaries, the Fuel team was integral to understanding the data sources and their potential applications for the client.
The Result: Together with government and consultant associates, we continue to apply advanced analytic techniques using big data against terrorist organizations to help keep our country safe.
Communications & Marketing
Re-branding Makes the Invisible Seen Again
The Challenge: An Intelligence Community client contacted Fuel because, as far as its stakeholders were concerned, the client was completely invisible. Only when something negative happened did the client receive attention, and not the type of attention that organizations want.
Our Approach: Fuel helped the client by re-branding the organization — the look, image, voice, and types of messaging were fully recalibrated. Fuel gathered stakeholder views through interviews, identified key brand attributes that were missing or underdeveloped, and helped the client develop a new presence through a complete brand overhaul.
The Result: Stakeholders not only took notice but asked the client to share its communications resources — the Fuel consultants — so they could enhance their own brands and brand awareness.
Communications & Marketing
Straight Forward Communications Rehabilitates Reputations
The Challenge: An organization with a negative publicity profile requested Fuel’s assistance in restoring the confidence of customers and executive stakeholders.
Our Approach: First, our team diagnosed the problem by taking an inventory of existing commitments and mandates and helping the client identify “core services.” With this information in hand, the client was better able to deliver on its promises (a problem in the past). Fuel also helped the client identify and understand the various interests and expectations of its stakeholders.
The Result: Building on that more comprehensive awareness, Fuel and the client mobilized internal and external communication campaigns that targeted those interests and expectations. Fuel developed consistent and straightforward messaging modules, including several reporting templates, to simplify routine communications. Within months, stakeholders were supportive and satisfied by the clarity and frequency of the client’s reporting.
Communications & Marketing
Engaging Stakeholders through Simplified Messaging
The Challenge: A large federal agency was tasked with transforming a sister institution by integrating its analytic processes, establishing best practices, and mapping career paths. However, it had a major communications challenge — its stakeholders didn’t understand its mission.
Our Approach: Fuel worked with the client to craft a communications plan that overcame reflexive resistance by clearly explaining the program’s goals of reform and advancement.
The Result: Success in this effort was dependent upon mobilizing a variety of client representatives — both in government and in consulting firms — to develop a road map that would deliver the client’s desired goals. Fuel’s communications strategy emphasized bridging gaps to create a common understanding of the overarching goal of the program by simplifying and streamlining the client’s messaging.
Finding Customer Satisfaction in the Data
The Challenge: An IT management organization servicing the Intelligence Community was perplexed by mixed signals — its customer satisfaction survey results were inconsistent with the number of real-time customer complaints received by senior executives.
Our Approach: Fuel’s experts took the initiative, conducting an in-depth study of the tens of thousands of surveys returned during the previous 13 months. The application of best practices analysis and insights from a J.D. Powers-trained colleague illuminated the issue — not the survey instrument itself, but critical errors in the scoring schema that exaggerated satisfaction ratings.
The Result: Confirming senior managers’ intuition, the actual change ticket satisfaction rate was 15% less than reported, while the actual incident ticket satisfaction rate was 5% less than reported. Armed with this knowledge, Fuel’s enlightened senior executives, at no additional charge, identified a solution to implement a weighted rating schema that employed the existing instrument while incorporating the algorithms necessary to score it correctly, and train the survey owner and its consultants on how to interpret the data.
Process Improvement Jolts Performance
The Challenge: An intelligence community Internet service provider (ISP) faced the unique challenge of stabilizing network operations during a period of unprecedented demand. “Firefighting” was clearly no longer a sustainable management practice, but alternative measures had failed.
Our Approach: Fuel worked with the program manager and the client to illuminate the problem: classic stovepiping. With the ultimate goal of transforming the organization into a process-centric operation, the best course of action was energizing the ISP by preparing its processes for an ISO 9000 Quality Management System (QMS) registration, the completion of which would help ensure that it meets the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting ISP statutory and regulatory requirements.
The Result: Working closely with leadership and other stakeholders, Fuel ensured that ISO 9000’s QMS requirements were met; that process performance was quantified using appropriate metrics; that corrective and preventive actions were documented and traceable; and that regular management review would uncover nonconformities. Fuel’s efforts resulted in the ISP becoming the first Intelligence Community office ever to receive ISO 9000 registration. Additionally, network availability increased from less than 97% to more than 99%.
Energizing Mission Transformation in the Intelligence Community
The Challenge: An Intelligence Community customer was reinventing its information collection, production, and sharing practices, but was having difficulty deciding where to focus efforts.
Our Approach: The client hired Fuel, and we started by forming close relationships with both the client’s key personnel and the project’s stakeholders. Next, our team’s experts identified the “pressure points” that were interfering with effective internal and external communication. Building on these relationships and information, Fuel energized an iterative organizational dialogue about alternative approaches for reinventing the information-management process. Along the way, Fuel injected additional data via interviews, research into best practices, mapping of business processes, and identification of key technology options.
The Result: Fuel worked with a large cohort of client and consultant representatives, to help craft a concept of operations that transformed the structure and function of the client’s work environment and business processes — one that continues to serve as the foundation of the client’s analysis and intelligence-production operations today.
Real-World Contingency Planning
The Challenge: A major federal intelligence organization attempting to develop a strategic plan was stuck. Its planners produced a meticulous mission analysis, but no plan. In essence, they had a static picture of the status quo that failed to include any contingency planning to account for the dynamics of the real world.
Our Approach: Fuel hit the ground running, working with the client to backtrack through the analytical process, diagnose the problem, and move the organization’s thinking into the future. Our team was able to energize the planning process by establishing a recurring, integrative dialogue among the stakeholders, forgoing the all-too-common trap of creating a coffee-table plan.
The Result: All levels of the organization — from management to planners to partners — were engaged to assess, understand, reorient, and, at times, modify their tactics to respond to their dynamic environment.
Integration Roadmap Drives Strategic Implementation
The Challenge: A client’s flagship program was in need of cohesive IT fusion and organization as its mission grew and progressed.
Our Approach: Fuel’s strategists, having observed the agency’s needs and goals, developed a critical integration road map to link mission requirements, capabilities, and shared services.
The Result: This technological roadmap helps to drive our client’s strategic planning and implementation activities for its flagship program.