The System Description (SD) is a comprehensive document that describes how your organization’s internal planning and control systems function, especially as they pertain to meeting the intent of the EIA-748 guidelines. The SD is used to enforce consistency and uniformity across the organization, especially for projects that require an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) to be used.
Appropriately defined management systems that support the EVMS, distinctly and succinctly documented, are a critical part of the System Description. They define guidance for managing cost, schedule, technical performance, and effective project management execution using EVMS. Keep in mind that no two System Descriptions are identical as they describe what is unique and distinctive for an individual company.
The System Description is also a mechanism for an organization to move up the project management maturity model, whether you have EVMS requirements or not. By requiring standard processes and procedures be applied to all organizational projects, inefficiencies are reduced, lowering overhead, and increasing ROI. Consistency also lends itself to having higher confidence in the project management data presented to management.
Our experienced professionals collaborate with your team to understand your existing processes and procedures, define requirements, and construct a quality System Description. Through our many years of experience, we have built a repeatable approach that ensures that all necessary details are accurately captured, described, and represented. This repeatable approach and System Description template lead to delivering a superior product each and every time.
Pinnacle’s partner relationships, and numerous implementations, with leading project managefment software companies gives us insight into how to ensure your System Description and tools processes are aligned.
The SD can have many different names, such as:
If you have a requirement for your EVMS to be validated by your Cognizant Federal Agency (CFA), then an EVM SD is a required document. The SD is typically sent to the government validation team in advance of the on-site portion of the review. DCMA uses the System Description Compliance Review Checklist (CRC) to review the SD for compliance issues.
A System Description is not limited to describing EIA-748 compliant processes. Organizations may choose to tailor their system for fixed price contracts, LOE support contracts, smaller contracts, or internally funded projects. While it is certainly okay, and sometimes advisable, to have a single document that describes how project planning and control systems are applied to all of your project types, if you have a contract with an EVM validation requirement, the EVM SD must be written in a way to support the validation process. This means being precise in describing the applicability of each system component.
Contact us to learn how we can support your System Description development.
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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