March 20, 2014
Prime contractors often face the challenge of directing, assisting and supporting their suppliers with the proper implementation and use of EVM. As with any new concept or software tool that an organization embraces, success ultimately depends proper implementation and utilization. A recent EVMS reporting evaluation of a supplier to a large DOD prime contractor had revealed serious data credibility issues. It was discovered that the supplier’s scheduling and finance groups worked in silos where the data was disconnected. CAMs would provide status dates to the schedule group and then performance information as requested by the finance group. The effect was that the EVMS reporting was impossible to understand and reflected little to no cost and schedule integration.
OPDEC was brought in to enhance the supplier’s EVM system while utilizing existing core schedule and cost tools. The objective was to implement the OPDEC Integrated Program Manager (IPM) software system with the goal of ensuring 100% integration and alignment between the schedule and cost systems. Success can directly impact the bottom line for both the prime contractor as well as their supplier’s. Critical planning and understanding of the supplier’s processes, capabilities and existing tools and data sources were needed to expedite and manage the expectations and implementation of the IPM system.
The essential elements for success were:
- Management Team Commitment
- Pre-Implementation Assessment and Gap Analysis
- System Structure and Data Integration
- Compliant System Description
- Training at multiple levels within the organization
- Tool/System Implementation
- Data Verification
Proper tool selection and implementation allowed EVM to become the valuable tool it was designed to be. The IPM system now clearly identifies previously hidden issues and plays a key role in the management decision process for both the prime contractor and the supplier. The data IPM produced enables management to make proactive, informed decisions during the program life cycle thereby mitigating risks and enabling cost and schedule efficiencies.
The OPDEC IPM system provides visibility, consistency and standardization at multiple levels of the program and ensures that the supplier data is as accurate and credible as possible.
OPDEC IPM became the forcing function for ensuring standardization of processes and the handling and reporting of data. IPM is now also utilized on non-EV programs demonstrating that if the project has a scope, schedule and budget, IPM can be an effective project management tool.