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Integrated Baseline Review Blog Series, Part 2: Practice Interviews

Posted by Jason Kinder on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Preparing for an Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) can be an extremely daunting and stressful activity to prepare for and your project execution team must be fully prepared.

We have identified four key IBR component services to set your organization up for success:

  • IBR Training
  • Practice Interviews
  • Control Account Manager (CAM) Notebook preparation
  • Corrective Action Planning

This is part two of a four-part blog series and I will be focusing on practice interviews and how we can help your team be fully prepared for an Integrated Baseline Review.

Control Account Managers are not only vital to successful project delivery, but they are also vital to a successful IBR. As I wrote in part one, the CAM must have a solid grasp of the scope, schedule, and budget that they are responsible for. The CAM is also responsible for having a complete understanding of the Earned Value Management (EVM) data and processes for the work they are managing.

To demonstrate to the customer that the project has an achievable, executable plan, every CAM is interviewed to demonstrate their knowledge of the control account where they have responsibility. Knowledge of scope, budget, risks, schedule, and costs should be demonstrated. The CAM should be able to show how earned value performance is taken, what Earned Value Techniques (EVT) are used and why. If Management Reserve (MR) was carved out, the CAM must be able to explain why.

The CAM will also have to explain their knowledge of EVM processes and how the data is used. They should be able to discuss how baseline change requests are handled, how to initiate a management reserve request, and how risk management is performed.

As you can see, the CAM has a plethora of responsibilities during an integrated baseline review. Much of the success of the IBR comes directly from the CAM interviews and how well they prove their in-depth project knowledge. We work with your team to conduct practice interviews, preparing your CAMs to effectively demonstrate understanding of their control accounts, ultimately giving your customer confidence in your ability to manage the project on time and within budget.

Our earned value management professionals will conduct interviews that mimic the actual IBR review by the customer or government agency. These practice interviews enable the team to see what questions will be asked, as well as how to appropriately respond. We will ensure that all the documentation and backup data is available for each CAM during the interview.

Practice interviews are also a great time to discover any issues, be it data quality, or adherence to the system description, ahead of the customer visit. Trust me, you don’t want a surprise during a CAM interview with the customer. If any issues are identified, we will ensure that they are addressed, and an action plan is in place to resolution.

By conducting mock interviews, we hope to increase the level of confidence your CAMs have going into the IBR, which in turns gives everyone in the IBR confidence that you are positioned for success.

Whether you are looking to prepare your team for an upcoming Integrated Baseline Review or enhance the skills of your organization, Pinnacle has training and learning solutions to meet your needs. You can find a complete list of our training classes here.

Find out how we can help improve core competencies of your staff while improving productivity throughout your organization.

Please Subscribe to Our Blog to see Pinnacle's other blog posts, including the future parts to this article series.

Schedule a Call With Us or Send Us an Email for help with preparation and training for your Integrated Baseline Review.


Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Engineering & Construction, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Government & Public Sector, Microsoft EPM, forProject Technology, Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Recent Articles

Jason Kinder

By Jason Kinder

Jason has extensive experience in Earned Value Management, project controls, project management, and engagement management. He is a frequent speaker at the IPM Workshop, EVM World and numerous project management software vendor conferences. He is an active participant with the NDIA Integrated Program Management Division (IPMD) and the Planning and Scheduling Working Group. He currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the College of Performance Management (CPM).

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