It’s not uncommon when organizations are starting to implement an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) for folks to be introduced to the term, CAM notebook. It’s something you might hear a lot during Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) training and during the first couple of months of a new project is to prepare a CAM (Control Account Manager) notebook, but what exactly is a CAM notebook?
Essentially it is a notebook that contains any and all reports and information that helps CAMs manage their control accounts. This is a notebook or virtual notebook that can be available to support the CAM during meetings, audits and day-to-day activities. There are no limitations on what can be contained in this space, however there are minimum requirements. Typical information contained in a CAM notebook includes:
- Basis of Estimate
- Statement or Work (SOW)
- Requirements Documents
- WBS dictionary (Work Breakdown Structure)
- Work Authorization Documents
- Change Requests
- Control Account Plans
- IMS (Integrated Master Schedule)
- Variance Analysis
- Risk Register
- Risk Mitigation Plans
- Supporting Technical Documents
Part of a CAMs role is to participate in an IBR or Earned Value validation review and an auditor will expect a CAM to be able to access and know their way around the notebook. They will need to be able to produce documents to demonstrate and back up their knowledge of the program requirements and program management processes.
CAM notebooks can be either a traditional physical notebook or, increasingly more common, they are virtual notebooks stored on a shared web site, such as Microsoft SharePoint. This offers more widespread access as well as offering the giving the CAM the ability to update it more easily.
It is imperative to maintain the CAM notebook. It should be updated to reflect changes in WADs, Variance Analyses, IMS, Control Account Plans, etc., as needed. The maintenance of the CAM notebook will typically fall on the Program Controller as well as the CAM.