Company - About The President

Dr. Richard Bechtold

Ashburn, Virginia; USA


Dr. Bechtold has over twenty five years of progressive experience in the development, management, and improvement of complex software systems, architectures, processes, and environments. This experience includes all aspects of organizational change management, process improvement, process auditing, process definition and modeling, workflow implementation, and managerial and technical training. Additionally, Dr. Bechtold works with both industry and government in the performance of software capability audits, contractor process maturity monitoring, software process improvement, and acquisition process improvement.


Ph.D. George Mason University, 1996: Information Technology
M.S. National University, 1987: Software Engineering (Honors)
B.S. National University, 1985: Computer Science (Magna Cum Laude)


Abridge Technology; Ashburn, Virginia. Founder and Principal Consultant; April 1996 to present. George Mason University (GMU); Fairfax, Virginia. Adjunct Professor; September 1992 to 2005. Research Associate Faculty, April 1996 to February 1998.

As the President and Principal Consultant of Abridge Technology, Dr. Bechtold provides subject-matter expertise to industry, government, research centers, law firms, and academic institutions. This expertise is concentrated in the following areas:

(1) Software project management
(2) Software process improvement
(3) Acquisition process improvement
(4) Systematic risk management
(5) Process definition and modeling
(6) Software quality assurance
(7) software capability audits
(8) Contractor (and sub-contractor) risk evaluation and reduction

Current and recent clients include: IIT Research Institute, Internal Revenue Service, Northrop Grumman, Xerox, Vistronix, the Centech Group, the Systems and Software Consortium Inc., (including SSCI members such as: AT&T, Boeing, J.P.Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell, TRW, United Technologies, etc.), the U.S. Senate, NCR,, the Maryland Software Industry Consortium, the Maryland State Government (Department of Business and Economic Development), the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software, Montgomery County Government (Maryland), softVeillance, Thomson Elite Software, and the Center for Innovative Technology (Virginia).

In addition to consulting, support, and training, Dr. Bechtold has periodically taught courses for GMU. His primary course is Software Project Management (SWSE 625). This is a Masters Degree course cross-listed to the Ph.D. Information Technology degree. The course covers all critical aspects of successful software project management, including: project management, program management, planning fundamentals, software estimating, engineering organizational structures, project staffing, project visibility and control, earned value analysis, software inspections, risk management, metrics and measurement, technology transfer, new software management paradigms, acquisition management, rapid recognition and correction of failing software projects, and key elements of software process improvement.

As a Research Associate Faculty Professor Dr. Bechtold applied the majority of his time (80%) to contract work directly for the IRS. He performed organizational process capability analysis, organizational change management, acquisitions process improvement, and formal software capability evaluations. Dr. Bechtold designed, proposed, and implemented a systematic process by which the IRS has monitored contractor compliance with the GAO mandate for SEI Capability Maturity Model Level-2 processes on all software tasking. In addition to creating and detailing the 4-phase Process Appraisal Review Methodology (PARM), he created a wide variety of analytical support instruments, training material, and detailed procedures to facilitate the development and institutionalization of an IRS core capability for performing CMM-based process maturity monitoring.

In conjunction with this work, Dr. Bechtold has regularly analyzed IRS contractor tasking, contracts, and performance, and has participated in numerous onsite process-audits of contractor facilities and resources. Dr. Bechtold either lead or was a team member on nearly every Software Capability Evaluation (SCE) performed by the IRS between 1996 and 2004. In addition to performing SCEs, he regularly monitored IRS contractors' processes for relative quality and risk. Companies monitored included: Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.; American Management Systems, Inc.; Andersen Consulting LLP; Aspect Telecommunications; Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc.; BTG; Computer Sciences Corporation; CTA, Inc.; Dobbs Ram; Dynamics Research Corporation; Dyncorp Information Engineering Technology, Inc.; Electronic Data Systems; IBM; Information Management Consultants, Inc.; Interimage; ITS, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Federal Systems; Logicon Eagle Technoloy; Management Systems Designers, Inc.; NCR; Northrop Grumman; Periphonics; Plexus Scientific; Price Waterhouse Coopers', LLP; Raytheon; Science Applications International Corp.; SRA Corp.; TRW; Unisys Corporation; Vector Research, Inc.

Dr. Bechtold also supported the IRS in analyzing and implementing improved software acquisition processes. The initial effort involved redefining and deploying acquisition processes impacting a 150 person organization, with the eventual goal of impacting a 5000 person organization.

In support of the preceding activities, Dr. Bechtold has been trained and certified as an SEI-authorized Software Capability Evaluator and continues to perform a variety of process capability and maturity verifications and validations.

Software Productivity Consortium (now renamed as the Systems and Software Consortium); Herndon, Virginia. Manager, Systematic Process Improvement; Senior Member, Technical Staff. October 1989 - April 1996.

Dr. Bechtold was a senior member of the technical staff and a manager in the process improvement group. Responsibilities included management of and participation in remote and on-site support of process improvement activities at Consortium member companies and contract clients. This support included evaluation and/or development of organizational process policies and infra-structure; process improvement assessment preparations; process assessments; process improvement action planning; process analysis, definition, simulation, modeling, and automated enactment; tailored training classes; etc. Primary process improvement framework was the SEI Capability Maturity Model (CMM). He directly participated in helping military, government, and commercial organizations successfully improve from Level 1 to higher levels.

Dr. Bechtold was a co-author of the "Quantitative Management" guidebook, released March, 1997. This guidebook assists organizations in successfully transforming their software processes, placing them under statistical process control, achieving Level 4 of the CMM, and laying the foundation for pursuing Level 5. Additionally, Dr. Bechtold was a co-author author of "CMM Level 3 and 4 Metrics." This technical report describes explicit metrics for use by organizations pursuing quantitative software process management. The report describes the metrics to use, and explains how to collect, interpret, and respond to them. Published July 1997. (This material was developed under contract for the Software Productivity Consortium from November 1996 to July 1997.)

Dr. Bechtold was the lead author of the Process Definition and Modeling Guidebook. This set of guidebooks provides extensive and detailed instruction on how to incrementally implement a comprehensive program of systematic process improvement. In 1995, Dr. Bechtold substantially updated and extended the material so that it addressed the needs of a much larger audience (i.e.; beyond the Aerospace and Defense community). This book, "Improving the Software Process through Process Definition and Modeling", continues to be published by International Thomson Publishing.

Upon arrival at the Consortium, he participated in the analysis, design, development, and evaluation of two full-function integrated software engineering and reuse environments: an Ada system developed on a relational database (Interbase), and a C based object oriented system (using the Atherton Software Backplane).

While at the Consortium, Dr. Bechtold was trained by the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, to be an authorized assessor in Software Process Assessments and to ascertain client company's software process maturity. Dr. Bechtold has performed numerous assessments and appraisals of software organizations nationally and internationally.

Vanguard Technologies Corporation, Fairfax, Virginia. Group Task Leader; Contract Task Manager. June 1987 - October 1989.

As Group Task Leader Dr. Bechtold was responsible for the management of 27 to 32 employees across 4 to 7 simultaneous contract tasks performing various software engineering services for the IRS. Managed Automated Examination System (AES) Phase 1, AES Phase 4, Electronic Filing System, Bidders Cost Evaluation System, and miscellaneous smaller projects.

As Contract Task Manager, he hired 16 programmers; established client site office (Dallas, Texas); directly managed the design, development, and revision of 1040 and 1120 systems for the IRS to automate the audit process. He worked with a client staff of 70 Revenue Agents, Tax Auditors, and Tax Examiners. These systems required over 230,000 lines of delivered C source codethat were developed and implemented under both UNIX and MS-DOS to ensure portability. He attended numerous meetings around the country as a technical resource for the IRS.

Dr. Bechtold was also responsible for managing the development of the IRS Electronic Filing System for both Individual and Corporate returns. This system was based on graphical image management, optical disks, networks, and telecommunications and integrated with existing IRS systems to further automate the IRS tax return filing/audit process. Responsibilities also included all system level C programming, configuration management, quality assurance, and IV&V. He also proposed, received approval for, and commenced design and development of an inhouse Expert System for use by technical staff.

Manzanita Software Systems, Sacramento, California. Senior Software Engineer. October 1985 - June 1987.

Responsibilities included the analysis, design and development of large scale accounting software applications for 80x86 class computers. All programming done in C under MS-DOS. Worked directly for the Vice-President, Research and Development. Systems included General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory, Payroll, Sales Order, Purchase Order, etc.

National Systems Research, Sacramento, California. Assistant Project Leader. May 1984 - October 1985

Performed extensive research, analysis, and design of the Northwest United States Power Marketing System (DOE) for handling the marketing of power within a major network of over 80 Government and Private Utilities for implementation on Prime 9950/9955s. Specific responsibilities included specifying both system level and program level logic and data flows, and the creation of Formal Functional Requirements, Data Requirements, and SystemSpecification documents. Required rigorous application of FIPS. Extensive client contact. Assistant project lead for team of seven.

ASK Computer Systems, Sacramento, California. Project leader; Senior Analyst. May 1982 - May 1984.

Project Leader: Responsible for design, coding and implementation of large-scale multiuser financial and manufacturing software systems developed in C under UNIX and in CB80 under MS-DOS and MP/M. Supervised 5 programmers in developing the Payroll system, and 4 programmers in development of General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, and Accounts Payable. Performed ongoing upgrades to the Payroll system to ensure conformance to changing federal tax laws, and changing tax law and computation requirements for all 50 states.

Senior Programmer Analyst: Assisted with design and was lead developer of Manufacturing Inventory, Bill of Material, and Material Requirements Planning Systems.

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Palo Alto, California. Skills Development Specialist; Quality Circles Facilitator; Technical Writer. January 1981 - May 1982.

Skills Development Specialist: Established and supervised acquisition, installation, and application of 32 micros throughout the company (at the time, this was a rather aggressive deployment). Responsible for training employees in the use of computers and a variety of software packages. Trained over 100 employees in various data processing courses ranging from 2 hours to 5 weeks. Attendees included company vice-presidents, clerical staff, electrical engineers, stockroom workers, executive management, etc.

Quality Circles Facilitator: Trained as Facilitator in the introduction and support of Quality Circles. Established and facilitated 14 Quality Circles in the engineering and administrative departments. Worked extensive process improvement throughout the organization.

Technical Writer: Performed technical writing, review and editing of electrical safety standards.

Computer Professionals Unlimited, Atlanta, Georgia. Manager, Data Control. June 1979 - January 1981.

Responsibilities included the scheduling and control of thepostings and updates in a service bureau processing over 60 million dollars daily in 250,000 accounts for 42 Credits Unions along the East Coast. Also responsible for department budgeting, hiring/firing and other personnel functions, administrative details, and technical documentation.

1974-1979 SUMMARY:

- Career Firefighter: Washington, D.C. Fire Department.

- Paramedic: Kensington Volunteer Fire Department / Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad

- Volunteer Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician: Kensington Volunteer Fire Department.

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