Larger-scale projects

Amid decades of smaller consulting engagements, we also worked on longer-term assignments, ongoing relationships, and standardized projects. These are summarized below.

Product positioning

We have helped many clients plan new products and new product lines, using a proprietary methodology we term structured positioning analysis.

We first developed our positioning method in the early 1980s, refining it over many projects. It is an analytic approach to the study of the sales process and market dynamics, and is based on a schematic model of the sales dialogue. The model reveals how a product or product line fits within its marketing context.

This positioning process consists essentially of “filling in the blanks” of the model. The work usually focuses on a series of workshop sessions – essentially a seminar for the stakeholders – supported by preliminary data-gathering and follow-up documentation. Depending on circumstances and the complexity of the problem, useful results might be obtained in a week-long cycle, though some situations produced useful results in a single day, and others have taken months to crack.

The goals of this approach to position analysis are first to reveal the forces that control the sales dialogue, next to design a product portrayal that can leverage those forces effectively, and finally to create a strategy for implementing that portrayal consistently throughout all sales channels.

Infrastructure management

We completed numerous projects for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). Work included:
  • Facilitated requirements analysis for Outage Restoration, Mobile Data Systems, and Distribution Automation projects (JAD sessions; RFI/RFP standardization/evaluation; work plans; executive presentations).
  • Served as system architect and client advocate for Mobile Data System project (vendor selection, prototyping, contract negotiation, technical work).
  • Conducted a technical review of an outage restoration system: System assessment (including source code evaluation and failure mode analysis); reliability improvement.
We spent several years working on the City of Chicago’s CWIMS project.
  • Member of an eight-firm team building a system for city-wide infrastructure management, mapping, and decision support.
  • Helped the prime contractor win the award, negotiate the agreement, develop work plans, coordinate technical work.
  • Served as System Architect.
  • Designed and developed a distributed capital project system utilizing DB2, Oracle, ArcView, C, and Visual Basic components.
We worked closely with environmental engineering firm Camp Dresser & McKee for many years on a variety of projects, many of which involved infrastructure management.
  • Helped evaluate infrastructure management projects and expertise throughout the organization, through direct engagement with personnel throughout the country.
  • Helped develop, document, and implement a strategy for exploiting infrastructure projects, with emphasis on a) supporting new business development, b) improving resource utilization and deliverable quality, c) increasing competitive effectiveness, and d) identifying and avoiding corporate risk.
  • Shephered this effort, as it progressed from boardroom planning through team-building, standards development, product line packaging, and regional roll-out with selected projects and clients.

Trouble management systems

We guided teams developing multi-national trouble management systems for large clients including Sprint International, Alcatel Data Networks, and American Mobile Satellite Corp.