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DoD Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR) FlexFile Requirements

If your company has DoD contracts, did you know that beginning on May 15, 2019, the default cost reporting formats for Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR) is the Cost and Hour Report or FlexFile?  

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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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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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DCMA’s Earned Value Analysis System (EVAS)

Identifying the Impact of EVAS on Contractors

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What Makes Earned Value Management Software EIA-748 Compliant?

This is often the question people ask under the assumption implementing a piece of software translates into compliance with the 32 guidelines in the EIA-748 Standard for Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS). A better question to ask is how a software tool supports your internal project control process and procedures. It is your process and procedures that must support the requirements in the EIA-748. This is particularly true when you have a contractual requirement to use an EVMS or to produce earned value management (EVM) reports. Depending on the type and contract value of the project, project teams must demonstrate to a government customer how they have implemented the EVMS on their project in compliance with the 32 guideline requirements. The EIA-748 is an established industry standard for EVMS. At its core, the standard’s 32 guidelines and related process discussion are nothing more than best practices for organizing, scheduling, budgeting, measuring progress, and managing project work effort. EVM software solutions are designed to support the expected data components required for an EVMS as well as produce specific artifacts and contractual reports such as the Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) formats. Some do this better than others. How do you determine which one is the best fit for your organization? To help you narrow your search, we put together a list of questions to ask of prospective EVM software vendors.

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How to Best Meet DCAA Compliance Requirements

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) performs all contract audits for the Department of Defense (DoD). This audit includes Estimating System Reviews (ESRs). Even though ESRs aim to improve the accuracy and reliability of government contract proposals, going through one is tedious and nerve-wracking. And failure leads to some steep consequences: Your future proposals are scrutinized more. The proposal negotiation process takes longer to complete Governmental agencies will second-guess the accuracy and reliability of your future proposals. Your name is entered into the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) You may not get 5% of your progress and performance-based payments Now that we have your attention, let’s talk about ways to avoid all these penalties. **Spoiler Alert** If you commit to documenting everything, training and managing personnel properly, and following through with system improvements, you will meet all DCAA compliance requirements.

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Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) Revision B: What to Expect

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.  Instead of paper-based forms, Revision B focuses on the schedule and cost data requirements – a Schedule Dataset and a Contract Performance Dataset.  For the cost data, the requirements are similar to the current IPMR Format 7.  There is a related file format specification and data exchange instruction (DEI).  The assumption is the receiving party can use the time phased cost data to produce the desired reports, including the familiar Formats 1 to 4. Revision B also uses a different data encoding approach, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), instead of the UN/CEFACT XML.

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The FlexFile Program for Contractors at a Glance

A little over a year ago, the Department of Defense (DoD) launched its “FlexFile” program to help estimators and contractors exchange project cost data in a more efficient way. On November 1, 2016, the Cost Assessment Data Enterprise (CADE), an Office of the Secretary of Defense Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE) initiative, sent out an open invitation to all government contract agencies, asking them to start converting XML files to the JSON FlexFile. The intent is to improve data quality, reporting compliance, and source data transparency for Cost and Software Data Reporting (CSDR). The CSDR is DoD’s system for collecting actual costs as well as software and related business data. The DoD uses the CSDR data for most DoD resource analysis efforts including cost database development, applied cost estimating, cost research, program reviews, analysis of alternatives, and life cycle cost estimates. Let’s review the official FlexFile details to get started:

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