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Integrated Baseline Review Blog Series, Part 3: Control Account Manager Notebook Preparation

Posted by Jason Kinder on Thursday, August 12, 2021

Continuing with part three of a four-part blog series, 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

In this article I will be concentrating on preparation of a Control Account Manager notebook and how our Earned Value Management (EVM) professionals can support your team as they plan for an Integrated Baseline Review.

You’ve won the contract and now you must begin preparing for the IBR. That preparation can take days or weeks and your team is dedicated to demonstrating their project knowledge while assuring the customer that the project is on a solid foundation. As I wrote in parts one and two of this series, having a well-trained project team that knows how to display their project data quickly, and confidently, makes for a smooth-running IBR. Simulating CAM interviews is also important to ensure that confidence is high as project scope, schedule, budget, and risks are explained.

During the CAM interview they must also exhibit their knowledge of EVM data and processes. They need to know how performance is taken, what Earned Value Techniques (EVT) are used, and processes such as Work Authorization Documents (WAD) and variance analysis reporting. It is essential that the CAM be able to not only retrieve project documentation as evidence of their project knowledge, but to maneuver promptly and efficiently.

There is no limit to the number of documents in the CAM notebook but there are some critical documents that should be in everyone. Some of these include:

  • Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Dictionary
  • Basis of Estimate (BOE)
  • Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)
  • Program Budget Logs
  • Work Authorization Documents (WAD)
  • Variance Analysis Reports (VAR)
  • Control Account Plans
  • Resource Plans
  • Baseline Change Requests (BCR)
  • Risks Register

The goal coming out of the IBR is for the customer to walk away convinced that your team can manage this project successfully. For that to happen the CAM interviews are critical to a successful IBR. Their ability to showcase their project knowledge, while giving the interviewer full confidence of their ability to deliver successfully, can make or break an IBR.

A clearly established CAM notebook, one which the CAM is thoroughly familiar with, facilitates a straightforward and effortless interview. Not only does it enable the CAM to be more relaxed as they know where the documents are, and what they pertain to, it makes their day-to-day management easier as well.

This brings me to an important aspect of the CAM notebook. It is not a one-time collection of assets solely for the IBR. For it to be an effective tool for the CAM it must be maintained. As project scope changes, new WADs are issued, and variances explained, the notebook changes also. That is what makes it such a valuable project management tool.

By combining IBR training, practice interviews, and a CAM notebook, you are setting your project teams up for success. Not just setting them up for a successful IBR, but also successful management of the project through delivery.

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.

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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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