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DCMA’s Data Driven EVMS Compliance Process

  Why the Right Tools Can Make a Difference DCMA recently published an update to their set of test metrics they use for their Earned Value Management System (EVMS) compliance process.  As for previous versions, Version 3.2 is a combination of manual and automated tests of the EVMS data – hence the label “Data Driven EVMS Compliance Process.”  Version 3.2 includes 139 test metrics with additional cross references to three of their EVMS Business Practices (BP):

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Why You Need Data Driven Resource Requirement Planning

A common business challenge for our clients is the ability to access and organize quantifiable data so they can proactively manage the resource demands for likely contract awards and existing projects.  The problem is they lack the ability to gather credible source data from the proposal process and the project control system to provide a useful corporate wide or business unit view of resource requirements.

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Why Tools from a Small Software Vendor is a Better Investment

As we are working with potential clients during their selection process for proposal software or earned value management software, we often run into the misconception that tools from the large, legacy software vendors is a lower risk purchase.  They focus on the vendor’s annual revenue, conclude bigger is better, and thus equals lower risk.  

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Tips for Conducting an Earned Value Management System Requirements Analysis

For companies evaluating their options for earned value management tools, a common best practice is to conduct a requirements analysis useful for identifying gaps in their project control system.  This is particularly true for a company that wants to incorporate earned value management practices so they can comply with government contractual requirements to use an earned value management system (EVMS). 

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Using Excel for Project Cost Management?

Our clients are often stepping up from Excel to BOEMax, our proposal management software because BOEMax provides a better, faster, and easier way to produce a reliable data-driven cost estimate. Helping them implement BOEMax to support their proposal process, we frequently discover they are using Excel to manage their project cost data for the execution phase with varying degrees of success.

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Why Estimates at Completion Matter

One of the process areas we frequently help our clients with is establishing time-phased estimate to complete (ETC) data to be able to produce credible estimates at completion (EACs) during the execution phase of a project. The intent of the ETC data is to provide a realistic plan to complete the remaining work. Adding the cumulative to date actual costs to the estimate to complete provides an indication of the likely total expenditures for the project – the estimate at completion. The EAC is compared to the budget at completion (BAC) at the various levels of detail to identify and analyze areas of concern.

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Looking to Improve Your Change Control Process?

Managing and tracking baseline changes is a common issue for project managers and project control personnel. Change control is one of those process areas that requires some effort to maintain a basic level of project control discipline and data traceability. Ideally, the change control process isn’t overly restrictive. Case in point: a client that required project personnel to process a baseline change request to correct typos in work package descriptions. When the process is too painful, project personnel avoid making needed changes resulting in schedule and cost data that doesn’t reflect the project’s current state. Hopefully, your change control process has established a reasonable level for what triggers a baseline change request.

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Creating Data Driven Basis of Estimates

What is a data driven basis of estimate? It is a cost estimate that is based on verifiable data. Ideally, it is historical or other data that is traceable to the source business system such as accounting, timekeeping, material management, purchasing, or manufacturing. Along with verifiable data, the rationale used to arrive at the estimate must be clearly documented and easily available. The proposal team and customer must be able to follow the thought process, methodology, assumptions, and calculations used to arrive at the cost estimate.

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Assessing Options for an Earned Value Management Tool?

For companies looking at their alternatives for an earned value management tool, a common approach for the selection team is to develop a list of their business requirements. These lists often include a matrix of features and functions that are important to the company. What we see missing in those lists is an assessment of the likely total cost of ownership for the tool. It is not easy to identify objective measures for potential internal support and maintenance costs for a purchased commercial off the shelf (COTS) earned value management tool. We have listed top tips that can help in the assessment process.

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Ground Rules for Successful Proposal Management Software Implementations

We routinely help our clients implement BOEMax, our proposal management software and EVMax, our project control software. Over the years, we have accumulated a number of lessons learned about what helps to ensure a successful software implementation. Any new software tool must align with and support the company’s process and procedures so proposal or project control teams can do their jobs more effectively.

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