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EVMS Roles and Responsibilities: Control Account Managers (CAMs)

Posted by Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc. on Thursday, August 30, 2018

This article is part of a series on the roles and responsibilities involved in performing Integrated Program Management. Other articles included in this series are:

The Control Account Manager, or CAM, plays a critical role in an Earned Value Management System (EVMS). 

The control account manager is responsible for the planning, coordination and achievement of all work within a Control Account and they provide a single authority for all scope, technical and cost issues for the control account – not an easy task. 

Three attributes are necessary for CAM project management to be effective:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Authority 
  3. Accountability

A CAM must be given full responsibility for managing the cost, schedule and technical performance of the Control Account, and for supporting all customer meetings and data requests pertaining to the Control Account. To be effective, the CAM must have ownership of the budget and full authority to direct resources. Specifically, the CAM should be responsible for:

  • Their assigned portions (control accounts) within the project Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)
  • Establishment and maintenance of the Control Account Plan (CAP) including Planned Value (PV), aka Budgeted Cost for Work Scheduled (BCWS)
  • Verification and control of costs charged to the control account including Actual Cost (AC), aka Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)
  • Determination of work accomplished including Earned Value (EV), aka Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWP)
  • Updating Estimates to Complete (ETC) for work packages within the control account, and validating Estimates At Complete (EAC)
  • Flowing down control account work scope to supporting departments, and tasking contributors via the agreement of work packages.
  • Conducting formal cost and schedule variance analysis and developing recovery plans required to recover schedule or cost variances.
  • Managing control account risks & issues
  • Processing change requests for changes to budget, schedule or technical scope of the control account
  • Establishing and maintaining a CAM Notebook, where project management documents related to the control account can be easily accessed

The control account manager must have authority to review and approve all work assignments, documents and commitments involving the control account. Without this authority, the CAM becomes simply an "embedded reporter" who cannot act on the information they get from the EVM System. Examples of items the CAM should have authority for are:

  • Approval of the Control Account Authorization (CAA) documents
  • Co-approval of the Make/Buy plan for material used within the control account
  • Definition and agreement with the Project Manager on the control account work scope, schedule and budget
  • Monitoring of all control account activities through the review of work packages
  • Identification of potential technical, schedule and cost risks and manage them according to the program's Risk Management process
  • Management of sub-contractor effort within the control account
  • Directing resources assigned to the control account effort

Finally, a CAM is accountable for control account performance. Specifically the CAM is authorized by and accountable to the Program Manager for the complete cost, schedule and technical objectives. This accountability is not complete without the responsibility and authority to manage the scope, schedule, and resources. CAMs are accountable for participating in Program Reviews, Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBRs) and other project or management reviews, where accountability becomes critical.

Control account managers use information from several software tools to assist in managing the control account. These might include the scheduling engine, the cost engine or EVM reporting tool. Some examples include:

Pinnacle offers mentoring and training services to help control account managers prepare for IBRs and CAM notebook preparation. We recommend some specific tasks for new CAMs:

  • Initial background and training on EVMS
  • Taking on the responsibility for Scope, Schedule and Budget
  • Build and refine your Control Account Plans (CAPs)
    • Scope / WBS Dictionary
    • Schedule and Integrated Master Schedule
    • Resources / Budget
    • Risks
  • Integrate your CAPs with other CAPs – horizontal integration
  • Preparations for the Integrated Baseline Review

Pinnacle has a long history of guiding and helping Control Account Managers in a number of different situations, including:

  • Training CAMs in new EVMS implementations
  • Development of Control Accounts, Work Packages and Integrated Master Schedules
  • IBR preparation for new and experienced CAMs
  • IBR Corrective actions
  • Development of CAM notebooks
  • Training on the tools listed above

Talk to a Pinnacle professional about our EVM services.  Give Us a Call or Send Us an Email.


Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM), Deltek PPM, Government & Public Sector, forProject Technology

Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

By Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1993, Pinnacle provides a wide range of professional services through 4 primary service lines: Management Consulting, Technology Systems Implementation, Training & Education, Functional Fulfillment. Pinnacle has extensive experience implementing and optimizing enterprise-wide capabilities in all Project Management related practices.

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