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Managing Constant Change

Attend any industry conference or talk with any project manager and a recurring theme is the volume and velocity of changes because work requirements must respond to ever-evolving threats or business environment.  What is the impact of this constant change on the project manager and other project personnel?  It is easy to lose track of things or become overwhelmed.  Everyone needs a way to maintain their focus on completing their current work scope and the end product.  How do you manage constant change so you can maintain sufficient control of project objectives without descending into chaos? 

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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 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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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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Looking to Establish Repeatable Project Control Processes?

A continuing theme often we hear from our clients is their desire to create standard, repeatable project control processes. Why is this so important? Done right, it: Reduces the time and cost to create useful project control data such as proposal basis of estimates (BOEs) or schedule driven time phased budget plans; Increases management’s confidence in the project control system to provide relevant, reliable, and timely data; Assists project personnel in making informed and proactive decisions; Increases consistency in approach so corporate management can do cross-project performance and return on investment (ROI) analysis; and Fosters an environment of continuous learning and process improvement because project personnel are leveraging best practice artifacts they can reuse for their project. Perhaps you have similar goals. Here are three suggestions to help you get started.

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Tips for Implementing Rolling Wave Planning

Rolling wave planning, sometimes called continuous planning or block planning, is a useful technique for longer duration projects where the statement of work (SOW) is likely to change. If you aren’t familiar with rolling wave planning, it is an incremental planning approach where near term work effort is planned in detail and future work effort is planned at a higher level, in a planning package, until more is known about the work scope requirements. These planning packages may be summary level planning packages (SLPPs) within the WBS or control account level planning packages. As the project progresses and more becomes known about the future work effort, the higher-level planning packages are converted to detailed plans as soon as possible maintaining a continuous planning horizon for near term work.

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DCMA’s Earned Value Analysis System (EVAS)

Identifying the Impact of EVAS on Contractors

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3 Ways to Improve Schedule and Cost Data Integration

Ensure Your Schedule and Cost Data Tell The Same Story

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How to Best Leverage Proposal Schedule and Cost Estimate at Contract Award

Take Your Winning Proposal to a Winning Project Have you thought about the process you follow immediately after contract award? Are the project teams assigned to a new project using the proposal schedule, cost estimate, and basis of estimate (BOE) data to their full advantage? With the right process and tool-sets in place, you can get through the initiating and planning phases easier and faster – and increase the quality of the schedule and budget data.

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