Our Customers' Problems

All projects evolve through various phases related to planning, acquisition, execution, and close-out. Each phase has unique challenges especially as organizations take on larger and more complex projects; the risks and the criticality of decision points increase exponentially. This is the environment in which we do business.

Our Solution

Tecolote Research performs analysis to identify project risks and recommended solutions. We develop specialized tools to perform the analysis. We do research to make sure results are defensible as they get scrutinized up the executive chain. Finally, as a 100% independent company, our customers rely upon our unbiased results.

Our Advantage

We are a trusted advisor, supporting and advising project managers up to the most senior executives. We have the experience to understand the objectives unique to each level as well as the ultimate objectives of each project/organization.

Our analysts bring expertise in disciplines from cost estimating to scheduling and skill sets from project management to statistical modeling.

We expertly apply off-the-shelf and specialized tools to deliver results efficiently and accurately.

We understand software and IT requirements based on our experience providing databases, web hosting, APIs, and other technologies.

Research

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Tecolote is a leader in collecting, normalizing and delivering robust data sets, useful methodologies, and high-fidelity cost models. We have established thousands of Non-Disclosure Agreements over four decades and have achieved an exceptional record of protection.

Innovation is both a driver and a result of our research efforts. We encourage and support our clients in discovering new and better ways to achieve the mission, while holding to the highest possible standards for data collection, database development, data analysis, methodology development, and publication.

Tecolote’s cost research products include data, estimating methods and models that provide a quantitative foundation for all levels of program decision making.


Our cost research services include:

  • Collecting, normalizing and analyzing cost, technical, schedule and programmatic data with efficiency and expert insight, including handling small datasets.
  • Supporting decision makers with objective and defendable costs for high-technology components, newly developing systems, large-scale programs, legacy equipment upgrades and systems architectures.
  • Blending the most appropriate cost estimating relationships, factors or analogies that respond to changes in acquisition strategy, mission requirements, system technical characteristics, emerging technologies, schedule constraints and program/model uncertainties.
  • Integrating cost and schedule estimates into a single, seamless and meaningful model.
  • Developing defendable risk and uncertainty parameters, modeling, and reporting techniques.
  • Hundreds of Tecolote-developed general purpose analysis tools as well as more focused models that serve a particular function or domain.

Our work on Unmanned Space Vehicle Cost Model (USCM), Automated Cost Database (ACDB), and CO$TAT demonstrate our capabilities:

  • USCM supports cost estimating of unmanned, earth-orbiting space vehicles. The USCM database consists of military, NASA, and commercial satellite programs that encompass navigation, weather, experimental, surveillance and communications missions. USCM also supports both development and production phase cost estimates for visual sensors, infrared sensors and microwave radiometers. PSCM provides methodologies at a low enough level to estimate sensor subsystems and components, including Optical Telescope Assemblies, Focal Plane Arrays, Thermal Subsystems, Pointing Assemblies, Control and Data Processing Electronics and Sensor Calibration systems. Performance Evaluation Report Excerpt: "Tecolote has effectively utilized their USCM & PSCM experience to continue a second-to-none service supporting the SMC cost estimating community with their core capabilities to conduct cost research and model development."
  • ACDB is the Automated Cost Database tool available as a desktop tool within the ACEIT suite and via the web from the Army’s Joint Integrated Analysis Tools (JIAT). ACDB is a database-building and search/query tool. It contains powerful database entry and administration tools to enable any site or office to create its own tailored database. No knowledge of programming, SQL or DBMSs is needed. Users can search and retrieve cost, schedule, technical, and programmatic data and export the data to either CO$TAT or Excel files. ACDB consists of two applications: (1) the ACDB Database Development Kit; and (2) the ACDB Report Wizard. Both of these applications come standard with the ACEIT desktop application suite. We also have made all of the ACDB databases available via the web through JIAT.
  • CO$TAT is the statistical analysis package of the ACEIT suite that has been specifically designed for the cost/price analyst. CO$TAT is an Excel add-in that contains all of the features that a cost analyst needs from a statistics program. With CO$TAT, users can rapidly move through the cost analysis process to develop and compare estimating relationships and quickly include the best analysis results directly into their ACE or Excel cost model. Datasets are quickly created in an Excel spreadsheet and all statistical analysis features are easily accessed via an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). Users can edit data obtained from ACDB or other sources, develop histograms and scatter plots, perform statistical analysis (including linear, log-linear, and non-linear regression), fit beta curves, fit learning curves (with or without rate effects), and fit uncertainty distributions to any type of data.

Clients Supported

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Classified Programs
  • International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)

Analysis

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Cost Estimating and Economic Analysis

Tecolote is a leader in developing comprehensive cost estimates that are vital to making effective program management decisions.

Tecolote has over 40 years of experience developing, documenting, and defending cost estimates to support Headquarters’ review and approval; our estimates are a critical element of program/project success.

Tecolote delivers cost products that represent the work of some of the program management industry’s best analysts, engineers, and economists. As an employee-owned company with no industry conflicts of interest, Tecolote is able to deliver results that are trusted to be independent of any outside bias. Tecolote’s estimates consistently result in budgets that stand up to scrutiny and are fully traceable to program requirements and agency constraints. The excellent quality of the economic and financial data we collect and our rigorous approach to conducting analysis fosters confident decision-making processes for our clients.


Our cost estimating and economic analysis services include:

  • Defining a defensible basis for establishing and maintaining a program’s budget
  • Establishing a solid foundation for securing approvals as a program moves from one phase to the next
  • Offering relevant quantitative information to help assess strategic program options and guide decision making
  • Capturing the cost impacts of programmatic, schedule, acquisition strategy, and/or performance level changes
  • Expert modeling and reporting of risk and uncertainty
  • Sharing our technical expertise, knowledge of acquisition and construction, and experience across a wide range of systems, architectures, structures, and information technology platforms

Clients Supported

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Classified Programs
  • Department of Justice (DoJ)
  • Department of Energy (DoE)
  • Department of Transportation (DoT)
  • International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Foreign Agencies (Australia, NATO)
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Financial Management

Tecolote provides an end-to-end financial management capability (Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution [PPBE]).

Our financial management staff is composed of experienced technical and financial analysts who use their extensive knowledge of government financial processes to provide direct financial management support and effective financial training.

Tecolote tracks and reports the status of each budget/funding submission throughout the funding process to ensure that our clients are fully informed on the status of their budget requests. Our experience in preparing Budget Fact Papers and reclamas helps mitigate proposed funding reductions. Our tools and processes deliver quick, reliable quantitative impacts to project budgets and provide defensible what-if responses to stakeholder queries. Tecolote's hands-on experience with Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) databases, along with our expert use of the Comprehensive Cost and Requirement (CCaR) System ensures accurate funds management and focused actions to correct erroneous data for our government clients. Our strong analytical abilities, proven processes and well-documented paper trails result in positive reviews and successful GAO, DCAA, and other program audits.

Tecolote’s experience demonstrates the benefits of a single contractor working closely with the client to perform multiple financial management functions: reduced management costs, comprehensive corporate memory, higher fidelity budget submittals, more substantive justification and impact statements, more control over financial resources, and greater success for our clients as they compete for scarce resources. The rigor we apply to our cost estimates pays off for our clients when we update and verify financial inputs to budget/funding submissions.


Our financial management services include:

  • Translating credible cost estimates into sound budget profiles, fiscal-year based budget forecasts, and spend plans.
  • Managing a coordinated process that tracks program resources from the cost estimate to the budget submission, future year funding profiles, spend plans, management inquiry, and formal headquarters or stakeholder reporting.
  • For our Government clients, employing a wide range of accounting/financial systems and interfaces (i.e., CCaR, CRIS, ABSS, WAWF, DTS, MOCAS, GAFS-R, SPOMIS, DWAS, DIFMS, NIMMS, and MFCS) to execute budgets, track funding, and report on commitment, obligation and expenditure status.
  • Developing structured tools and techniques for reconciling and managing large, complex contracts.
  • Using thorough project descriptions and credible, hard-hitting impacts to prevent potential budget cuts and obtain advocacy and funding for unfunded requirement submissions.

Clients Supported

Tecolote delivers credible analysis and reliable management services on more than $50 billion in annual budgets overseen by our clients.

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Classified Programs
  • Department of Justice (DoJ)
  • Department of Energy (DoE)
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Earned Value Management

Tecolote is a leader in providing value throughout the entire EVM process, empowering our clients with reliable analysis and information to better manage their programs.

We have 30 years of experience in setting up EVM systems, analyzing EVM data, and providing surveillance monitoring of EVM systems.

Tecolote Research tailors each EVM process to meet the specific needs of our customers. We boil down analysis into easily understandable graphics, which can make a difference in whether a project manager really understands the issues, trends and recommendations. Our staff stays current with ongoing changes in programs, regulations, reporting requirements and report names, ensuring an awareness that fosters credible support. The most effective EVM programs are a team effort—our experienced staff has what it takes to train our clients to get the most out of the data and analysis.

Tecolote's systematic process focuses on early identification of potential cost, scheduling and technical problems. Our effective use of the latest tools leaves more time for real analysis and value-added decision making.


Our EVM services include:

  • Telling the story behind the story—we identify the underlying issues and present the analysis in a way that enables intelligent, focused decision making.
  • Assisting in CDRL/SOW development, validating contractor systems, analyzing data and building tailored briefings and reports to support all of our clients’ EVM needs.
  • Reviewing Estimates at Complete (EACs) for realism and developing independent EACs to provide a program with a basis for comparative analysis of estimate integrity. We have performed Independent Estimate at Completion Reviews that have been delivered to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Congress.
  • Applying state-of-the-art EVM analysis tools such as wInsight, Performance Analyzer, C/S Glue, MS Project, Open Plan, Risk + and others.
  • Integrating Microsoft applications such as Excel and PowerPoint with our analytical tools to create effective decision-making presentations.
  • Staying abreast of the most current government/industry requirements and guidelines for EVM implementation to ensure compliance and visibility into appropriate contract details for our customers.
  • Initiating overall EVM processes including defining the EVM data requirements from the contractor, setting up the data extraction process, training project office personnel, and determining the required EVM analysis products.

Clients Supported

  • Department of Energy (DoE)
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Classified Programs
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Schedule Management and Analysis

Tecolote is a leader in providing innovative schedule development and analysis that fosters sound program decision-making, facilitates system integration, and reduces program risk.

Our expert schedule integrators have been consistently recognized as program MVPs for their diligent support, sound advice, and innovative schedule management techniques.

The combined creativity, flexibility, and expertise of Tecolote’s schedule management teams result in high-quality integrated schedule management systems that incorporate reports and risk analysis tools that are current with today’s technology and responsive to customer needs. Our experience in supporting large multifaceted programs, including GPS, MILSATCOM, NPOESS, C-130 Program, NASA International Space Station, and Predator, establishes our ability to develop highly useful schedules for programs with massive integration issues. We understand the big picture of acquisition and construction management. We structure our processes and products to ensure that our clients get what they need to effectively manage their programs. For example, Tecolote’s inventive Schedule Management Review process provides each client with enhanced data points to aid the decision-making process.

Our schedule analysts are professionally trained in scheduling tool development, critical path methodology, and schedule risk analysis. Many of our schedule analysts are certified by the Project Management Institute, a professional organization dedicated to the development and certification of project management professionals.

We employ the Steelray Project Analyzer, ACEIT Joint Analysis of Cost and Schedule (JACS), and @Risk by Palisade tools to assess the quality of contractor development and production schedules. This assessment aids decision makers to understand potential schedule slips, cost increases, and overall program risk.

Our custom schedule analysis mentorship system provides both customized analysis of contractor data and one-on-one mentorship on program tools for project leads. This gives each customer the ability to take action on the data for concurrent solutions and proactive approaches that minimize program risks.


Our schedule management and analysis services include:

  • Integrating internal and external stakeholder interdependencies, required assets, and resources that can affect program schedule execution.
  • Developing and maintaining integrated schedule networks for complex programs and projects with multi-client, multi-command, multi-service, multi-agency and multi-national elements.
  • Performing extensive data gathering and schedule coordination with internal and external organizations, as well as system designers, builders, manufacturers, inspectors, etc.
  • Conducting an independent assessment of the quality, integrity, and reasonableness of a prime contractor's schedule deliverables.
  • Determining client needs and deriving innovative solutions that complement customer processes in order to save time, money, and effort.

Clients Supported

  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Classified Programs
  • Department of Energy (DoE)
  • Oil and Gas Industry

Software

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Tecolote's 40 years of federal government support in financial analysis and program management provide a strong foundation for developing, fielding, maintaining and supporting effective web and desktop software solutions.

Tecolote software solutions are a valuable component for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our clients' processes and products.

Our software services include defining, implementing, delivering, and supporting integrated, robust, and cohesive applications that provide real solutions for improving efficiency and effectiveness. We use state-of-the-art configuration-control software to track changes in source code, assign work to programmers, and schedule the releases of our products. We ensure operational effectiveness through automated system testing on every candidate for release. Tecolote incorporates some of the most stable and standardized technologies in the market, including VB.NET, ASP.NET, C/C++, Silverlight, Office, web services, SQL Server, and Oracle.

Our unique combination of domain subject matter experts and software development professionals allows us to provide rapid development, delivery, and support of applications focused on your requirements. We also provide training to ensure proper use of the software applications and understanding of the basic principles in your specialized areas of interest. Tecolote delivers technical support five days a week, 12 hours a day, to government and commercial organizations throughout the world.


Our software tool development benefits and results include:

  • A unique combination of domain knowledge experts and exceptional developers to create robust, integrated, and reliable applications that provide real solutions improving efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness
  • A full-time Quality Assurance Staff along with automated tools to test our products on individual machines that are configured for your environment
  • Consistently successful application of agile software development processes
  • Decades of demonstrated delivery of software products on-time and on-budget

Experience and Capabilities

Microsoft Gold Partner

  • Tecolote is a Microsoft solutions partner who has received the Gold Application Development competency, which means that we successfully deliver Microsoft-based solutions and we have access to tools and support that help us create more useful software products for our clients.

Automated Cost Estimating Integrated Tools (ACEIT) Developer

  • For more than 25 years, Tecolote has been the sole-source government developer, trainer, and technical support provider of the industry-leading cost estimating software suite ACEIT.
  • Tecolote has developed an average of one software release a year; trained more than 8,000 users; and provided technical support to more than 250 customer sites worldwide.

Defense Cost and Resource Center (DCARC) Applications Developer

  • For more than 10 years, Tecolote has been the software developer of web-based and desktop software applications supporting the functions of the DCARC.
  • Current websites and applications include: the public DCARC website, CSDR Planning and Execution Tool (cPet), CADE Portal, Defense Acquisition Automated Cost Information System (DACIMS), CSDR Submit-Review website (CSDR-SR), the EVM Central Repository, and EVM-CR/CSDR analysis tools.

Joint Integrated Analysis Tool (JIAT) Developer

  • Tecolote is the software developer, trainer, and technical support provider for the web-based software application JIAT, supporting many of the data and analysis needs of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics (ODASA‑CE).
  • JIAT was designed to provide one-stop shopping for ODASA cost estimators and beyond. The goal of JIAT is to facilitate seamless web service linkages between cost estimating tools, cost databases, engineering design models, modeling and simulation, capability/performance data, and operations and support databases.

Section 508 Compliance

  • Section 508 compliance regulations and standards for Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) deliverables to the government are defined at: www.Section508.gov. Tecolote has successfully delivered Section 508-compliant EIT products to government customers. We understand the standards and have a decade of demonstrated skill in building and delivering EIT products that meet or exceed our customer’s requirements for Section 508.