Pinnacle helps WAPA Select Software and Implement Earned Value Management System (EVMS) as an Enterprise Standard

With support from Pinnacle, the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) implemented their first EVMS on the Eastern Plains Transmission Project (EPTP) as a pilot for adoption of earned value as a standard for large programs by the agency.

Client Situation

WAPA was considering adopting an earned value management approach as a “best practice” for their large programs. To gain some experience and expertise they decided to pilot the EVMS approach on a new transmission line project. The Eastern Plains Transmission Project is a proposed new transmission project that would include about 1,000 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines and related facilities in eastern Colorado and western Kansas, expansions at existing substations and construction of new substations, access roads and fiber optic communication facilities. As currently planned, the EPTP would be one of the largest transmission additions in the United States in the past five years.

WAPA called upon Pinnacle and our business partner, Performance Management Associates (PMA). Our challenge was to define and implement an effective Earned Value Management process, supported by EVMS software tools, and to deploy the new process to the EPTP program management office (PMO) and Control Account Managers (CAMs).  

Pinnacle Approach

Pinnacle started with a preliminary requirements analysis of EPTP’s situation and readiness to adopt Earned Value Management.  Based on our analysis, we recommended a 3-pronged approach to reduce risk and ensure a successful implementation.

1. The PMA/Pinnacle team would work with the EPTP PMO to develop an effective EVM process, suited to the needs of the project and the organization.

2. We would help them select a new set of EVMS tools and would help them implement the new tools in their environment.

3. We would develop and deliver a tailored training program for EPTP staff in the new EVMS processes and tools. 

Based on the requirements analysis, Pinnacle recommended a solution involving:

The Pinnacle team worked with the EPTP PMO to implement, configure and integrate these tools with the WAPA financial systems.

We provided customized training in these tools that was tailored to the EPTP processes and roles.

We worked with the PMO and Control Account Managers (CAMs) to:

  • Develop the program WBS
  • Identify Control Accounts, Work Packages and Planning Packages
  • Develop standards for Earned Value Management measurement methods 
  • Develop the initial program schedule baseline 
  • Develop Control Account Plans 
  • Develop the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) 
  • Work through the first few monthly cycles of the full EVMS process

Our senior consultants provided mentoring to CAMs and the PMO to ensure that they fully understood the new EVMS processes and could operate the new systems.

Results Achieved

  • With help from the PMA/Pinnacle team, the EPTP PMO has successfully implemented their very first Earned Value Management System.
  • EPTP CAMs now have immediate visibility into the performance of their Control Accounts and can identify variances that might indicate potential problems. 
  • Senior management has overall visibility into project cost/schedule performance and can use the EVM metrics to focus attention on the most critical areas. 
  • The agency has adopted the tools suite and the practices developed for the EPTP project as a standard for large programs that they manage.


About WAPA

Western Area Power Administration markets and delivers reliable, cost-based hydroelectric power and related services within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. WAPA is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit electricity from multi-use water projects. WAPA’s transmission system carries electricity from 57 power plants operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the International Boundary and Water Commission. Together, these plants have an installed capacity of 10,395 megawatts.

More information about Western's operations can be found at


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