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CURRENT INITIATIVES


Our unique value proposition to the Air Force is our ability to take Airmen Approved ideas, codify them into policy, and scale and sustain the innovation across people, process, technology, and the budget. Previously, end users were largely subject to the products of the headquarters decisions who have been separated from the field, flightline, or warehouse for decades. Yes, it may seem there are innovation cells popping up across the entire department of defense, what is unique about Tesseract is we are nestled in the Air Staff Logistics Directorate where decisions are made on how to develop human capital, update policy, and set functional demand signals to the Air Force corporate structure, whereas a large proportion of the innovation ecosystem is spread across a variety of entities which do not directly write or influence policy decisions. 

How do we field Airman innovative solutions? We have tapped into Airmen idea networks and competitions, and have created our own pipelines such as our Aether Sprint initiative to funnel maintenance and logistics problem sets and partner with those Airmen to drive change. Previously, these competitions, while effective tools to bring out ideas, only brought one winner on stage… Now, Tesseract has brought dozens of effective Airman ideas to life by cutting the red tape, and in some cases leveraging industry and academia. Tesseract finds avenues for sustainment, provides headquarters advocacy, and coaches frontline Airmen as they develop and finetune their ideas. 

How do we approach process improvement? We generate aircraft readiness by leveraging the Theory of Constraints management methodology. In short, this methodology helps us identify constraints and bottlenecks within units by using a data driven approach and frontline subject matter expertise to untap the potential within organizations, and building solutions around that constraint. Most importantly, we work with leaders across the organization, top to bottom, and collaboratively come to solutions on the ground instead of independently prescribing answers from our office space. 

How do we scale software solutions? Tesseract is bringing Airmen on board to help modernize the way in which we develop and sustain software with the intent to meet current and future warfighter needs. We are seeking to shift the logistics IT software development strategy away from platform-centric and monolithic legacy software systems and towards developing and sustaining an interconnected network of cloud-native micro-service applications, such as Google’s “G-Suite'' concept with apps like Google Calendar and Gmail, that each focus on providing a single mission-critical capability to our Logistics Airmen. This “software ecosystem” approach has become the standard among private sector tech companies and will allow a future maintenance information solution to grow and adapt with future Air Force and DoD needs. 

As you can see, Tesseract’s lines of effort are leveraging the competitive advantage we all have as a coalition and Joint force- our innovative American warfighters. Whether it’s a process, a software application, or even just a budding idea, Tesseract’s strategic positioning on the Air Staff gives us the perspective to effectively align priorities and bring together the right people to optimize the flow of information and accelerate innovation across entities.



ATHENA AND KRONOS

Manpower & Aircraft Scheduling Tools

DEMO VIDEO:

[Torque - Highlights 3 min]


SUMMARY:

Have you been hand-jamming and color coding blocks of spreadsheets to do something as simple as create the schedule for your team? 

Tesseract has partnered with Asgard of the 309th Software Engineering Group (SWEG) at Hill Air Force Base to accelerate software tools designed by and for Airmen. Let’s take your team’s appointments and flying scheduling from a locked file on a desktop folder to a modern management scheduling system.

Athena and Kronos are web-based personnel scheduling applications originally developed through a collaboration between the Air Force Software unit Kessel Run and 309 SWEG. Athena allows Airmen and frontline leaders to build and manage a personnel schedule, including special or unique qualifications. For our maintainers tuning in, Kronos provides aircraft scheduling capabilities that allow Maintenance Production Superintendents, Maintenance Schedulers, and Operational Schedulers to collaboratively develop a unit’s daily, weekly, and long-range flying schedules. Let us help you transform your shift schedules and checkerboards into 21st century tools your team wants to use!


RESOURCES:

If you have questions about learning more about these applications at your unit, connect with us through our help portal and request a live demo or onboarding! Now, let’s get information to our warfighters at the speed of relevance.

Once you reach out to our team through the help portal, our team will contact you to set up a demo of the applications you are interested in leveraging at your unit. The Tesseract team can provide a brief demonstration of the applications–what they look like, how they work, what capabilities they currently provide–and answer your basic questions.

Following that discussion, our team will connect you directly to the software development teams at the 309 SWEG for more in-depth demos, feedback and feature discussions, or provide you access to our “sandbox” environment on the applications that allow your unit’s experts to test out the tools before you make a decision to go any further.


LNO NETWORK:

If you are an LNO, or are interested in becoming an LNO, that has a passion for software development or Athena and Kronos specifically, please request to join via our help desk or contact Capt Michael Comiskey or Lt Colin Dziadaszek. We are always seeking field-level experts who can put these software projects “through their paces” and provide feedback to the developers, as well as share the word about these solutions within your own network!

 


 

FOUNDATIONS

CULTURE BUILDING TOOL

SUMMARY:

Foundations started in 2020 as a way to measure a unit’s culture and foster frequent, meaningful feedback within a unit. The baseline for the program came from a study done by Google on high-performing teams, and the framework was inspired by Amazon's Connection program.

Using peer-reviewed survey questions, Airmen can anonymously answer short ~6 question surveys from their phone or computer in minutes. Using the data gathered from these surveys, units can measure their cultural movement against themselves as well as others.

Foundations evaluates culture components such as psychological safety, teamwork, and trust in order to build the leaders and teams we need for the future fight. It is an assessment that operates at increased frequency and decreased intensity compared to traditional USAF methods such as the DEOCS. It serves as a real time measure of a unit's culture, gives a voice to all Airmen, and provides leaders with actionable data to better inform decisions.

Foundations looks to identify where to focus your time and energy to improve yourself and your organization the most, by recommending resources in your lowest scoring areas. This provides Health of The Force metrics for everyone. An NCOIC can see the culture of their section, a supervisor can gauge their shop, and your Airmen have a new way to have their voices heard.


RESOURCES:

If you are interested in using Foundations, or even just have a couple of questions, check out our FAQs or visit our help desk for information and onboarding. 

Once you reach out, our team will connect with you to evaluate your unit’s needs and what you would hope to gain from Foundations.

If Foundations sounds like a good fit for your team, Tesseract will deploy an initial 21-question baseline survey within your unit (we promise they don’t get any longer than this!) so that you have a good idea of where your organization’s culture sits at the start of your journey.

After this, the Tesseract team will work with you to identify the appropriate frequency for deploying micro-surveys within your unit. Some units push out a survey once a week, some once a month. This program is flexible enough to match your needs and operational tempo!

As your team continues to accumulate data, Tesseract will work with your leadership to review the data, discuss what it might mean, and provide recommendations on how you might be able to engage with your Airmen to improve any metrics that may need it!


GET INVOLVED:

If you are an LNO interested in supporting Foundations, there are several ways you can get involved! 

We are constantly collecting more and more data from units that are leveraging Foundations to assess their internal culture. If you are interested in data science or data analysis, please let us know! There’s no telling what sort of comparisons or insights we might gain about our units and our Airmen through this data, but we need your help to do so!

If you are interested in supporting Foundations as a facilitator with units in the field, please contact us as well! We are more than happy to provide “ride alongs” as we engage with units using Foundations to get you the exposure and tools you might need to facilitate these discussions on your own. The more LNOs we have that want to support this effort, the more Airmen we can positively impact with this program!


DOWNLOADS:

 

1. Foundations FAQ



THEORY OF CONSTRAINTS

PROCESS IMPROVEMENT METHODOLOGY

 

SUMMARY:

Since 2020, Tesseract has been in the trenches implementing the Theory of Constraints across the Air Force logistics enterprise. Specifically, our business model consists of generating results, educating Airmen, and communicating about our efforts.

Tesseract has been working with Airmen in the field generating results. Our team has trained facilitators working hand in hand with Goldratt Consulting who travel across the world to help maintenance and logistics organizations implement TOC. We are helping leaders reach their strategic objectives by getting after readiness through TOC principles, while simultaneously giving more time back to frontline Airmen. Not only do we work with contracted efforts, we are spearheading ways for Airmen to get after TOC through organic capabilities. Our Slingshot initiative is adapting lessons learned from industry and is our current model to scale TOC.

Tesseract also educates Airmen about TOC. Not only do we provide materials such as playbooks, podcasts, and direct work in the field, we are also working with leaders in professional military education and force development teams on the Air Staff. We are onboarding TOC across a variety of courses and schools, such as the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, Air Force Logistics Officers School, and more.

Communicating our success is also crucial to our mission. We have seen Airmen take their organizations to a whole new level, and we've learned a lot along the way. Our virtual summit next week will be a great opportunity for you to learn about how far the Air Force has come with TOC!


RESOURCES:

Air Force Institute of Technology offers free courses on theory of constraints, check out TOC Fundamental, TOC 101, and TOC 201! You can also check out Tesseract’s TOC Aircraft Maintenance Playbook on Avolve. 

TOC Fundamentals: https://www.afit.edu/LS/course.cfm?c=324

TOC 101: https://www.afit.edu/LS/course.cfm?c=367

TOC 201: https://www.afit.edu/LS/course.cfm?c=368

TOC Aircraft Maintenance Playbook: CAC Login required for access*


GET INVOLVED:

Tesseract offers a program called Slingshot, where your organization learns to leverage the Theory of Constraints alongside trained facilitators. If you are interested in a Slingshot event, please submit a questionnaire to our help desk and we will begin your journey.

DOWNLOADS:


1. Slingshot FAQ
2. Tesseract ToC Quick Guide

 



URSUS

DIGITAL STOREFRONT FOR SUPPLY

SUMMARY:

Have you ever had to stand in line to receive your IPE for an exercise or deployment? Have you ever wondered why you can order clothes online but have to leave work or home for several hours to ensure you have the right equipment before hitting the road? URSUS is a Tesseract pathfinder designed to address this exact problem by delivering a modern, digital storefront for IPE issuing.

URSUS is a responsive web application designed to return time to Commanders and Airmen that is lost during the Deployment Process. This Airman-driven initiative utilizes agile software development to deliver a transformational solution for how we manage IPE. In an initial test of the URSUS MVP at Exercise Polar Force 21-5 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, URSUS showed that modern software capabilities that we’re all familiar with in our day-to-day lives have the potential to return thousands of hours to our Airmen before they depart for a deployment or exercise.

Over the past two years, Tesseract has partnered closely with Air Force Research Laboratories’ (AFRL) Information Directorate to develop and test this game changing tool and we are now working to scale and sustain these capabilities for all Airmen!


RESOURCES:

If you are interested in learning more about URSUS, please reach out via our help desk. In the interest of transparency, please note that this application is still in its testing phase and will not be scaled across the Air Force for at least another year. However, if your unit is interested in serving as a test location for this capability that can help influence the final product through end user feedback, please let our team know!


GET INVOLVED:

If you are an LNO, or are interested in becoming an LNO, that has a passion for software development or URSUS specifically, please reach out to the Tesseract team via our help desk or contact Maj Jamey Shuls directly. We are always seeking field-level experts who can put these software projects “through their paces” and provide feedback to the developers, as well as share the word about these solutions within your own network!

DOWNLOADS:


1. URSUS FAQ
2. URSUS One-Pager



INSPECTION DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK & KITTING

MAINTENANCE SCHEDULING & RESOURCING METHODOLOGY

SUMMARY:

Inspection Development Framework (IDF) and Kitting is one of Tesseract's chartered deliverables as it is a cornerstone concept of the Strategic Sustainment Framework (SSF). We work hand-in-hand with leading Industry and academic partners Delta Tech Ops & Georgia Tech Research Institute to adapt and apply the practice of breaking down and fully resourcing aircraft maintenance tasks to opportunistically inject health into weapon systems.

What are our results? At Dover and Travis AFB, the experiments on 10 C-5s showed that If we break up only the Home Station Check (HSC) on only the C-5 we have the potential to gain 29 additional sorties per base per year and the potential of 15 additional flying days per base, per year. When looking at the Readiness Driven Allocation Plan, we saw 34 occasions where Travis and Dover Missed Operational requirements and had aircraft in HSC. Potential there that IDF/Kitting could have benefited crew readiness and TACC’s ability to support combatant commander requirements.

Tesseract, along with academic and industry partners, have now scaled IDF/Kitting to the KC-46 to help define right-sized scheduled maintenance from a maintenance program onset. The KC-46 program was developed to be a wholly Air Force organically sustained platform. Additionally, knowing the KC-46 is a commercial variant deriving from the Boeing 767, the team is connecting Original Equipment Manufacturer Specifications and commercial partners. 


RESOURCES:

 
Coming Soon

GET INVOLVED:


Coming Soon


DOWNLOADS:


Coming Soon



MICAP PRIME

PROCESS IMPROVEMENT EFFORT

SUMMARY:

What is MICAP Prime? MICAP Prime is the adaptation and application of Amazon best-in-industry order fulfillment practices and customer focus utilizing an expeditious pick, pack, ship method. It leverages process discipline, smart sourcing, and commercial carrier capability to deliver readiness faster than ever before. In its simplest form, if a part exists on an Air Force shelf, we can pick it immediately, pack it right away, and ship it the same day with next business day delivery.

Where did MICAP Prime start? Maj Arthur "Chip" Litchfield III asked a simple question – "If I can get a pair of flip-flops from Amazon in less than 2 days, why does it take 4 days to get a MICAP?" He began to look at the data and current processes to investigate. He pitched his idea to [then] Brig Gen Linda Hurry (HAF/A4L) and the newly forming Tesseract Logistics Office of Innovation, and was cleared to run a test. From his research, Maj Litchfield came up with these focusing questions:

In 2020, the Air Force conducted a Proof of Principle test at select locations in order to expedite the fulfillment of grounded aircraft in Mission Impaired Capability Awaiting Parts (MICAP) status. The PoP targeted F-16, KC-135, and C-5 weapons systems and showed an average 20% faster MICAP Response Time (MRT).

Tesseract is currently working with the Basing and Logistics Data Analytics Environment (BLADE) team to develop a first-of-a-kind dashboard to monitor the movement and fulfillment of MICAPs from the time the maintainer enters the demand in the maintenance information system, through the supply and transportation systems that source and deliver the part, and back to the maintainer who installs and "greens" up the aircraft.

This capability will enable near real-time supply chain performance and constraints analysis without the burden of manually pulling large amounts of data from different systems. BLADE's data lake is the enabling technology to pull these systems together, and we couldn't be more excited.

Can this work OCONUS? The cornerstone to OCONUS speed is found in Maj Vince McLean's graduate research project. In short, Maj McLean studied the movement of F-16 grounding MICAPs to Aviano AB, Spangdalhem AB, and Misawa AB. His research indicated that the single option for small parcel shipment, International Priority, resulted in some variation in delivery (from 2 days to 7 days). It also highlighted that as fast as 2-day shipping was achievable, leveraging the fastest commercial carrier capabilities. The conclusion was, combining an additional level of service with MICAP Prime expedited processes principles would result in significant readiness gains, as seen below.


RESOURCES:

Interested in setting up this notification system at your location? Check out the handy how-to created by SSgt Gabriel Fox and the capability delivery team at the ILS-S program office or check out the ILS-S Sharepoint. You can find this document below in the downloads section!

DOWNLOADS:


1. ILS-S MICAP Alerts



RAWHIDE

Digitizing the cargo deployment

SUMMARY:

During your last base exercise, did you have the opportunity to support the cargo deployment function? As you looked around the deployment facility, did you notice how many disjointed, radio, or pen & paper processes exist? Have you ever wondered why we do not leverage industry standard technologies to support such a critical function? If these questions have ever crossed your mind, then RAWHIDE is the solution you’re seeking!

RAWHIDE is a $4M responsive web based software development effort focused on developing a comprehensive suite of integrated tools that modernize the cargo deployment function (CDF). The goal of the effort is to deliver an end-to-end collaborative workflow that addresses every step through the process and replaces manual/paper-based functions with digital capabilities. This revolutionary, open-architecture platform will be entirely government-owned (GOTS) and is being developed in partnership with an operationally diverse Integrated Product Team to ensure RAWHIDE aligns with all impacted functional domains. An initial MVP is planned for the Fall of 2022 timeframe with the MVCR deployed on Platform One planned for the end of 2023.
Tesseract has partnered closely with Air Force Research Laboratories’ (AFRL) Information Directorate and will serve alongside a team of committed innovators, change agents, and subject matter expertise to Accelerate Change and drive RAWHIDE forward!

GET INVOLVED:

If you are interested in learning more about RAWHIDE, please reach out via our help desk. In the interest of transparency, please note that this application is still in its testing phase and will not be scaled across the Air Force for at least another year. However, if your unit is interested in serving as a test location for this capability that can help influence the final product through end user feedback, please let our team know!

RESOURCES:

If you are an LNO, or are interested in becoming an LNO, that has a passion for software development or RAWHIDE specifically, please reach out to the Tesseract team via our help desk or contact Capt Matt “Carp” Carpenter directly. We are always seeking field-level experts who can put these software projects “through their paces” and provide feedback to the developers, as well as share the word about these solutions within your own network!

Check out our featured article on RAWHIDE here


AETHER SPRINT


 

SUMMARY:

Aether Sprint is our annual opportunity for frontline Airmen to work directly with Tesseract and Air Force Logistics senior leaders to tackle some of the Logistics Enterprise’s toughest problems. Over the past four months, Tesseract collects and evaluates applications submitted by teams from across the A4 that propose solutions to problem statements focused on pain points in all parts of Maintenance and Logistics. The 2022 Aether Sprint Competition questioned were:

How might we transition from a pull to a push Logistics system?

How might we provide solutions and processes that can develop and enhance Multi-Capable Airmen?

How and where might we automate processes so that humans only do what a human must do?

After finalists share their efforts with the enterprise, Tesseract will continue to work with them to fine tune, scale, and sustain their efforts to directly influence Air Force Logistics strategy and business processes. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of project progress across our social media pages!


RESOURCES:

Aether Sprint is an annual event, usually starting in October. The Tesseract team will work with functional stakeholders and senior leaders on the Air Staff to generate problem statements based on our A4 strategic priorities, then partner with AFPC to share a MyPers message across Log Nation requesting teams apply to share their perspective on how we can tackle these problems.

Tesseract evaluates these applications and identifies semi-finalist teams, which are paired with a Tesseract coach to clearly define and develop their recommended solution over a period of 3-4 months. At the end of that “sprint”, the semi-finalist teams have the opportunity to brief a panel of HAF/A4L evaluators, including Career Field Managers and the Air Force Director of Logistics, to determine which finalists will have the opportunity to share their proposals on the LOA Main Stage!

Keep a look out for Aether Sprint 2023’s call to action later this year! We look forward to hearing the ideas Log Nation has to offer!


GET INVOLVED:

If you are an LNO who is interested in supporting Aether Sprint as a team member or as a coach for some fellow field-level innovators, please contact our team once this year’s call to action is published!

If you are working on an idea, project, or prototype and want to use us as a sounding board, feel free to request our idea coaching and design thinking services! *Available to DoD Members only