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.
Earned value management 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 earned value management software vendors.
How much does it cost and how much will it cost to maintain?
Price plays an important role when making any type of purchase. Most people know to negotiate an out-of-the-box price that meets their budget, but a few forget to ask how much it will cost down the road. Before agreeing to the price, also consider the additional costs for:
- Implementation support
- Initial training
- Ongoing training
- System maintenance
How easy is it to use?
Even if the software can help organize and manage the project control data, it doesn’t help much if it’s difficult to use. Verify the software has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to set up projects, enter and maintain data, and produce expected EVM artifacts. Is it easy to import data from legacy or other tool sets to establish core data such as the work breakdown structure, calendars, and rates? Is it easy to integrate with your accounting system and scheduling tool set? How easy is it to tailor reports or produce project specific data views?
Companies often ask software vendors for a 30-day trial period or conduct a pilot to test out the software for themselves. As part of the evaluation process, look for opportunities for the software to improve or streamline your project control process. For example, ProjStream’s MaxTeam earned value management tools includes workflow functionality you can use for processing work authorizations and baseline change requests.
What kind of product support is available?
Software upgrades and glitches have the potential to impact your EVMS process and ability to produce reporting deliverables for your customer. Ask about response times and whether you will have a specific person dedicated to your account. Confirm the vendor’s claims with other companies that use their software. The vendor should be able to provide references. Or, tap your industry connections to get an independent perspective on how the vendor supports their product. Consider your options when a vendor has consistently poor ratings for responding to and resolving customer issues.
At ProjStream, we take product support seriously and make it a priority to resolve software issues as quickly as possible.
Use MaxTeam for your EVM needs
Our earned value management software, MaxTeam, keeps government contract projects on track with ease. It has everything you need to support your EVMS. Our software is user-friendly, integrates everywhere, and makes it simple to track changes helping you and your team plan, execute, forecast, and deliver on projects as expected every time.
Request a demo to learn more.