In this last of a three-part blog series, 10 Steps to Achieving and Maintaining EVMS Validation, I will talk about proofing the Earned Value Management System, achieving acceptance, and continuing surveillance. You can read parts one and two here.
For me, demonstration is the best part, and most fun, to achieving EVMS validation. This is where you put all the hard work and dedication of the implementation team into action. You have some options on how you want to demonstrate the EVMS. You can pilot an existing project to begin managing to the system description. This option has some difficulty involved as you need to create the program budget, management reserve and undistributed budget, as well as ensure that your data is accurate. If possible, selecting a new project is ideal as it allows you to start the entire EVMS project lifecycle from contract award.
Conducting an EVMS self-assessment is extremely important to achieving validation. This is sometimes referred to a ‘third party certification’ but bear in mind that only your Cognizant Federal Agency (CFA) has authority to validate your EVMS. Self-assessments using the EIA-748 guidelines can show you a set of recommendations to assist in planning and prioritizing necessary improvements. This enables you to close gaps and demonstrate a certifiable system prior to formal acceptance.
Acceptance is formal recognition that the EVMS meets the intent of the EIA-748 following a compliance review. During the review process it is verified that the implementation of EVM complies with the system description, is fully implemented on selected contracts, projects and/or programs, and the data from the system is being used in day-to-day management.
The review team will evaluate documentation to establish compliance with the 32 guidelines as well as interview project team members. They may be asked to walk through how data flows to determine their level knowledge of the EVMS. Sample data will also be examined to show compliance with the system.
Findings detected during the review result in Corrective Action Requests (CARs) with system changes documented in a corrective action plan and need to be implemented in a reasonable timeframe. Once all items are resolved formal acceptance recognizing compliance will be issued. This represents formal acceptance by the Cognizant Federal Agency that the EVMS is compliant with the EIA-748 32 guidelines.
You’re not through just because the Earned Value Management System has been accepted. Your organization must now maintain validation by implementing a formal internal surveillance process and support functions to ensure continued compliance with EVMS guidelines. It is the responsibility of the system owner to implement the system on contracts with earned value requirements, as well as maintain the EVMS in accordance with the approved, documented processes.
If your organization has a Program Management Office (PMO) I would recommend that they own the internal surveillance schedule and guarantee that all projects, programs, and contracts are adhering to the system description and are in compliance with the 32 guidelines. It is better to discover non-compliance issues internally before the customer visits for an EVMS surveillance review. The ownership of internal oversight by the PMO gives insight into enterprise-wide systemic issues. Again, you would rather unearth systemic issues internally, allowing you to provide the necessary training, process updates, and/or software changes to resolve the concerns.
Earned Value Management integrates technical performance, schedule performance, and cost performance into one measurement and management system. The Earned Value Management System allows for objective measurement of project performance and provides indices, metrics, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), providing actionable insight. Not only does a validated EVMS aid in delivering projects on time and within budget, but also gives your organization the ability to bid on contracts over $100M, ultimately growing the business.
To achieve and maintain EVMS validation it all starts with commitment from the entire organization. Then assess where you are from a process standpoint, develop an implementation plan and hire qualified personnel. Create and/or update processes, beginning with the system description, design and build the software tools, train up the staff, and show the results. The only things left are receiving acceptance and maintaining the EVMS through internal surveillance.
We have been successfully implementing Earned Value Management Systems for nearly 30 years and our approach guides clients through the entire project lifecycle of implementing an EIA-748 compliant EVMS to meet contractual requirements.
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).
Founded in 1993, Pinnacle provides a wide range of project management related professional services including management consulting, technology implementation & integration, and project support services. We have extensive experience implementing and optimizing enterprise-wide capabilities for Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), and Earned Value Management (EVM).
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