The long-anticipated update to the Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) Data Item Description (DID) was published in March, 2020. The new DID is the Integrated Program Management Data and Analysis Report (IPMDAR), DI-MGMT-81861B, and supersedes the June 2012 IPMR DID. The IPMDAR DID will show up on new contracts although individual buying commands may issue their own effective date memos. The performance reporting DID may be placed on all types of DoD acquisitions regardless of whether a formal EVMS is required. You may have already seen the new DID in solicitations and RFPs.
You can download a copy of the IPMDAR DID from the DoD ASSIST document library web site.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) Acquisition, Analytics and Policy (AAP), Earned Value Management (EVM) Division has produced a companion Implementation Guide as was done for the IPMR DID to provide additional context including tailoring instructions. This document can be downloaded from the AAP EVM Division web site. The IPMDAR File Format Specifications (FFS) and Data Exchange Instructions (DEI) are also available on this web site. These documents describe the JSON data encoding requirements that support the DID. The IPMDAR JSON data encoding replaces the IPMR UN/CEFACT XML schema with a leaner structure meant for exchanging large sets of data.
The DoD has taken a similar approach with the FlexFile Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR) DID that started showing up on contracts in May 2019. The FlexFile DID replaces the legacy 1921 paper-based series of formats. They have the same components: a DID that describes the data requirements along with an FFS and DEI using JSON data encoding.
What’s Different About the IPMDAR DID?
The IPMDAR completes the decades-long and incremental evolution from paper-based forms to submitting a set of cost and schedule contract performance data to the DoD. Instead of the familiar paper-based Formats 1 to 4, contractors submit a set of JSON encoded time phased cost performance data so the government customer can do their own data analysis. As an option, the customer can produce the familiar report formats from the source data the contractor provides. Similar to the IPMR, the IPMDAR DID also requires the contractor to provide JSON encoded schedule data along with the native schedule file.
The new DID is a major rewrite of the IPMR DID. It is more streamlined with cross references to the related FFS and DEI – you will need all three documents to gain a better understanding of the scope of the data requirements. Items of note about the cost and narrative content requirements include:
- Time phased cost data delivery is at the control account level or the work package level data depending on the CDRL. The control account level makes it easier to have an integrated view of the data because the data can be summarized up through the project’s WBS or organization structure.
- Summary element of cost detail (labor, material, ODC, subcontract) is required so there is more visibility into the resource requirements for a given element of work.
- Complete set of time phased hours and cost data. This includes the project’s budget baseline, the estimate to complete (ETC) the remaining work, as well as the earned value and actual costs. This data detail provides more visibility into the forecast to complete the work as well as any retroactive changes. These first three bullets all support DCMA’s automated compliance checks they perform on contractor data.
- Incremental delivery of the three data components: 1) Contract Performance Dataset (CPD); 2) Schedule Performance Dataset (SPD); and 3) Performance Narrative Report which can be in a human readable/searchable format such as MS Word DOCX or PDF. You can provide an interim and final deliverable as agreed upon with your customer.
- The Performance Narrative content is meant to be tailored and can change over the life of a project to reflect what’s important to you and the government customer.
What’s the Impact to Contractors?
Here is a short list of things to keep in mind as the new DID starts to show up on new contracts.
- Data quality matters. Data must be traceable from the top down and bottom up. For example:
- Pay attention to how you are coding your data and do regular data checks to make sure you are including the necessary data attributes. You should be able to identify control accounts and work packages in the schedule and cost data. You also need a means to identify summary level planning packages and control account level planning packages. You will need to map the earned value techniques you use in your project control systems to the standard set in the DID FFS and DEI.
- Your schedule and cost data must also be traceable because the new DID assumes this in the FFS and DEI requirements.
- If you haven’t been paying attention to your ETC and estimate at completion (EAC) data or just “plugging in” values to reflect a management target number, now is the time to make some process improvements. Make sure the ETC data reflects a realistic assessment of resource requirements, what it is going to cost to complete the work, and when the work will be completed.
- Be sure to map your element of cost details to the DID’s four standard categories (labor, material, ODC, and subcontract).
- Pay attention to the CDRLs. The CDRLs are likely to be more complicated because more content can be tailored. Before the contract is signed, plan for in-depth discussions with your customer so everyone can agree upon the right level of data required for visibility into project performance. This includes whether the data is at the control account or work package level, incremental deliverables, what is considered a significant variance, and what’s included in the narrative content. Pay attention to the two tables at the end of the DID as the frequency of certain elements should be agreed upon with your customer. The goal is to avoid what often happened in the past with the legacy Contract Performance Report (CPR) or IPMR DIDs where people go through the motions of producing Format 5 content that isn’t being used. Agree upon useful narrative content meant to facilitate discussion – make it meaningful for everyone.
- Subcontractor data. You do have the option of flowing down the IPMDAR to your subcontractors. That means you also need to pay attention to the SDRLs – particularly for major subcontractors. You can tailor the DID content so you can import the necessary data from the subcontractor to manage the project such as time phased total cost data along with the schedule data. As an alternative, the major subcontractor can provide the data directly to the government customer via the DoD EVM Central Repository.
The Right Software Tools Can Make a Difference
You do have a choice when it comes to EVM and cost management software. The right software tools can make it easy to submit your performance data in accordance with the IPMDAR DID requirements.
ProjStream has been at the forefront of working with the DoD to work through the FlexFile as well as IPMDAR JSON data encoding details, FFS, and DEI over the last four years. With MaxTeam, you can import and export the JSON encoded data for the IPMDAR Contract Performance Dataset (CPD). That means you can import a JSON encoded data file from your subcontractors as well as produce a JSON encoded export file for your customer.
ProjStream tools have built-in functionality so you can easily map your data to the IPMDAR and FlexFile data requirements. Our tools are designed to help you maintain top down and bottom up data traceability starting with the basis of estimate in BOEMax for the proposal phase and the complete set of time phased data in MaxTeam for the project’s execution phase. Our tools include built-in APIs to share data with schedule tools such as Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project. That makes it easy to create time phased budget and ETC data from resource loaded schedule activities so you know they are in agreement. You can also leverage the real-time nature of the schedule data for a more accurate assessment of performance to date, what is required to complete the remaining work, and likely project completion date.
Call us today. Our cost management tools can help you to easily produce government customer performance data submittals whether your CDRLs specify the IPMR or IPMDAR DIDs.