Mock EVM Review Process for IBRs – What is it and why do it?
When getting certified for an EIA-748 application, many companies try to “go it on their own” until such time as they get hammered by either DCMA (DOD/NASA) or OECM (DOE or EP&C). We have considerable success with Mock EVM Reviews in helping a Client’s EVM certification and preparedness for an Integrated Baseline Review (IBR).
Why? Because the best way to improve one’s opportunity for a successful Government EVM Certification review or IBR is to fully understand what’s going to happen when the Government auditors come onsite. That’s right I said “auditors”.
They will be scrubbing your company’s processes and procedures to assure compliance with EIA-748’s 32 Best Practice Program Management Guidelines. They will then be auditing your executive staff and ultimately your Control Account Managers (CAMs) to understand your everyday practice. They will have you explain the process, show examples of what it means to your role and demonstrate that, using live documentation, to prove you’re doing it.
It had better be lock step with what your processes and procedures describe. If not, they’re going to issue Discrepancy Reports (DRs) for each deviation and then they’ll even “help” you by coming back over and over again to review your Action Plans to resolve those DRs. By the way, DCMA has recently increased their staff by 20% to “help” get you certified.
Some organizations new to EVM question why do this at all? Basically, it’s because any cost reimbursable contract with a Contract Value (CV) equal to or greater than $100M has a requirement that either the Contractor has an EVM system certified by either DCMA (DOD or NASA) or OECM (DOE or EP&C) or has a plan in place to get certified during the Contracts performance. If your contract meets these criteria then you will be expected to be able to pass an EIA-748 EVM Guideline Certification Review by either DCMA for DOD/NASA or OECM for DOE/EP&C Programs.
Ten Six Approach
Before we can initiate any remedial actions we must perform what’s called a Gap Analysis, which involves a quick review of your company’s processes and procedures, internal systems being used. We will then interview Executive Management down to the Functional Program/Project team leaders to determine their level of compliance with EIA-748 EVM Guidelines. The out products of this effort will be:
1) A compliance matrix annotated with your company’s processes and procedures currently in place and how well they satisfy EIA-748 Guidelines.
2) How well the tools you have in place can enable your company to be able to generate necessary documentation required to address the EIA-748 Guidelines.
3) What training is needed to position your team to ensure a successful EVM Certification Review.
4) A forward looking plan to resolve any deficiencies identified and lead up to a successful EVM Certification Review. At this point, Ten Six is ready to implement what we call our Parallel Mock Interview/Mentoring Process.
Parallel Mock EVM Review/Mentoring
There are three fundamental elements that need to be addressed, People, Processes and Tools. This approach targets:
1) The Executive Summary documentation.
We work with your team to assemble both a summary process flowchart and an Executive Summary document that is entitled the Earned Value System Description (EVSD) to explain how your company satisfies the EIA-748 Guidelines. We also develop what’s called an EVM Compliance Matrix, similar to that developed in the Gap Analysis, that provides either DCMA or OECM a roadmap to your company’s implementation for each of the EIA-748 Guidelines. These are tools that DCMA or OECM require to be in place before a Certification Review can be successfully executed.
2) Training your team in fundamental EIA-748 requirements in order to better understand the impact upon your company’s implementing processes and procedures.
We provide all training required to familiarize your team with the requirements necessary to be compliant with each of the 32 EIA-748 Guidelines. Understanding these requirements will be fundamental in the development of all processes and procedures required to support an EIA-748 EVM implementation.
3) The development of process flowcharts and the accompanying implementing processes and procedures documentation.
We work with your staff in the development and/or modification of process flowcharts and the supporting documentation required to implement an integrated cost, schedule and technical performance system compliant with EIA-748 EVM Guidelines.
4) Installation and integration of any cost and schedule integration tools needed.
We provide expert staff knowledgeable in the tools and their capabilities to meet the EIA-748 reporting requirements. Our staff works hand in hand with your team to integrate all tools resulting in the smooth generation of necessary reporting documentation.
5) The CAM/Functional Manager Interview process that DCMA/OECM will employ in the process of verifying that your team does what the processes and procedures say they do.
Once all the necessary tools are in place, documentation has been developed and your team has been trained, Ten Six supports your CAM/Functional Manager teams to prepare the necessary documentation required in the Mock Review interviews. Our unique approach assembles your Program/Project team along with key Functional Management to observe what’s called a “Spotlight Interview”. This involves identifying the very best CAM, assembling their documentation, training and preparing them for the interview.
Our team will take them through a typical audit using the exact questions they will be asked by either DCMA or OECM so that everyone can see what the process will be. The purpose of this exercise is for all parties to understand what they can expect during the CAM/Functional Manager Interview process. After this initial interview, all CAMs/Functional Managers documentation will be finalized and each will undergo a similar audit interview. This typically results in corrective actions that will most likely circle back for incorporation into one or more of the previous items defined before.
It can’t be emphasized enough, how important the CAM/Functional Manager Mock Interview phase is in getting your team prepared for an upcoming EVM Certification Review or IBR. This phase illustrates to the auditors if the Program/Project team actually executes on a day-to-day basis what’s been documented in the company’s processes and procedures.
White Hat, Grey Hat and Black Hat
Ordinarily, these interviews will be done in 3 phases; White Hat, Grey Hat & Black Hat interview processes:
White Hat – In this interview the CAM/Functional Manager will go through all of the questions that DCMA or OECM would ask, but the interviewer assists the interviewee and will allow supporting staff to assist as well.
Grey Hat – In this interview the CAM/Functional Manager will also be asked all the appropriate questions, but will be expected to answer the questions themself. In the event that they get stumped the interviewer will go out of role and assist the interviewee and may allow the supporting staff to help as they are asked by the interviewer. This will ordinarily be the mode for the “Spotlight Interview” since the team has identified whom they feel is the most knowledgeable CAM/Functional Manager.
Black Hat – In this interview process the CAM/Functional Manager will be asked all the audit questions that DCMA or OECM would ask, but the CAM/Functional Manager is expected to be able to provide all the answers without assistance from the interviewer or their supporting staff. We will generate Discrepancy Reports (DRs) for any instances where your team has not provided adequate answers to their questions. This is the mode of audit that is exactly what you can expect from either DCMA or OECM.
Each CAM/Functional Manager should expect to undergo at least a White and Black Hat interview in the preparation process. Best-case scenario would be to undergo each to assure the best probability of success with DCMA or OECM.
Of course, this is a summary of the approach we would use to get your company ready for an EIA-748 EVM Compliance Review or to resolve DRs generated by DCMA or OECM in a prior Certification Progress Review. Our team has successfully performed this for dozens of DOD/DOE/EP&C Programs, interviewed hundreds of CAMs and Functional/Executive Management and has the capability to get your team ready for DCMA or OECM.