Contractors produce Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) formats on a monthly basis to provide contract schedule and cost performance data to their government customers. The report formats, described in the IPMR Data Item Description (DID) DI-MGMT-81861A, are typically deliverables identified in a contract data requirements list (CDRL). This is common deliverable for contracts with Earned Value Management System (EVMS) requirements.
These report formats are the basis for contractors to communicate performance status with their customer. They are useful for:
- Identifying the magnitude and impact of realized and potential performance problems
- Forecasting future contract performance
- Making and validating management decisions
PARCA, the DoD policy owner for EVM, is in the midst of a major rewrite of the current IPMR DID. Revision B is a fundamental change in approach. Like its predecessor the Contract Performance Report (CPR) DID, the current IPMR DID describes the content of paper-based formats for the cost data and problem analysis, Formats 1 to 5, as it references specific blocks, columns, and rows.
Evolution of cost data exchange standards
The evolution to Revision B with just a specified set of data instead of paper-based forms has been an incremental and decades-long process.
The first step in the evolution of establishing a data exchange standard for submitting the cost data to the DoD EVM Central Repository (CR) was the 1995 CPR DID that referenced the ANSI X12 839 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Transaction Set. This transaction set was designed to align with the paper-based formats described in the CPR DID and was the stepping stone to later data exchange standards. The X12 839 transaction set continued to be cited in the 2005 update to the CPR DID. Legacy contracts still use this transaction set to submit data. It is a simple and straight forward data exchange standard.
The next iteration was the UN/CEFACT XML cost and schedule data exchange schema and related DoD data exchange instructions. This schema laid the foundation for the IPMR Revision B because it focused on the data requirements instead of the paper-based formats. The data exchange instructions defined how to use the XML schema to satisfy the paper-based format requirements in the IPMR DID. The first release of the IPMR DID in 2012 introduced a new format, labeled “Format 7 Time-Phased Historical and Forecast File.” Most EVM cost toolsets, including EVMax, support the DoD UN/CEFACT XML cost formats for the IPMR DID.
What's different about the IPMR Revision B?
- It builds on the foundation of Format 7. It completes the transition from paper-based forms to a specific set of data using a defined file format specification and related DEI. The DoD is taking a similar approach with the Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR) FlexFile that is replacing the 1921 paper-based formats. They have the same components: a DID that describes the data requirements along with a file format specification and data exchange instructions using JSON encoding.
- It specifies a DoD owned data exchange format using JSON data encoding. The DoD controls the data requirements so it is easier for them to determine and maintain the content. This eliminates the need to work through national or international standards organization to make changes – a slow process that frequently requires compromises to satisfy a broad community of users. JSON encoding is similar to XML as it uses meta tags to label data content, however, it is a much leaner structure intended for exchanging large volumes of data.
- Supports DCMA compliance and surveillance reviews. The DID supports the exchange of work package data with or without element of cost data. DCMA routinely assesses the IPMR data contractors submit to the DoD EVM Central Repository – this data is typically at a higher reporting level or control account level. Once the IPMR Revision B is published and placed on contract, it can be used to provide lower level data to DCMA to support their Earned Value Analysis System (EVAS) data-driven analytics.
What should you do now?
Once PARCA publishes the IPMR Revision B, it will be placed on all new contracts. Be prepared for when it does. Contractors also have the option of moving to Revision B for existing contracts.
Consider making ProjStream your preferred Earned Value Management (EVM) toolset vendor. Unlike our competitors, our EVMax tool comes equipped with JSON technology. We have been actively working with the DoD EVM Central Repository to test and validate the Revision B JSON encoding. This way, when the IPMR Revision B is placed on your next contract, you can create and deliver the IPMR data without skipping a beat.
Learn more ways EVMax helps keep your projects on track. Contact us for a customized demo.