Many folks may have heard the term EVM lite (Earned Value Management Lite), maybe through conversations with colleagues, perhaps from a web site or in online forums. Others arrive at the concept of EVM Lite as they are looking to implement more rigors on their program management and controls.
However you discover EVM Lite, there have been some suggestions that it means you only have to follow some of the 32 guidelines outlined in the ANSI 748 standard. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The ANSI standard is broken down into 32 criteria in 5 categories:
- Define Work Scope (WBS)
- Define Project Organization (OBS)
- Integrate Processes
- Identify Overhead Management
- Integrate WBS/OBS to Create Control Accounts
Planning, Scheduling, Budgeting
- Schedule with Network Logic
- Set Measurement Indicators
- Establish Budgets for Authorized Work
- Budget by Cost Elements
- Create Work Packages, Planning Packages
- Sum Detail Budgets to Control Account
- LOE Planning and Control
- Establish Overhead budgets
- Identify Management Reserve and Undistributed budget
- Reconcile to Target Cost
- Record Direct Costs
- Summarize Direct Costs by WBS Elements
- Summarize Direct Costs by OBS Elements
- Record/Allocate Indirect Costs
- Identify Unit and Lot Costs
- Track and Report Material Costs and Quantities
Analysis and Management
- Calculate Schedule Variance and Cost Variance
- Identify Significant Variances for Analysis
- Analyze Indirect Cost Variances
- Summarize Information for Management
- Implement Corrective Actions
- Revise Estimate at Completion (EAC)
Revisions and Data Maintenance
- Incorporate Changes in a Timely Manner
- Reconcile Current to Prior Budgets
- Control Retroactive Changes
- Prevent unauthorized Revisions
- Document Changes to Baseline
If you take a good look at this list it’s likely that your organization is already performing many of these tasks in some capacity on existing projects. For example, you likely already have an accounting system that has been audited (possibly by DCAA) and maps closely to all the criteria in the accounting considerations category. You probably have some processes in place for scheduling and budgeting your work as well.
So with that said what exactly do we mean by EVM lite? Well several things:
- You will not be operating in a certified environment. In essence there will be no contractual obligation to prove your processes meet the requirements of the aforementioned ANSI 748 Standard through a compliance process. No external Audits of your system!!!
- You will have the flexibility to develop and utilize existing processes to meet the intent of Earned Value but not have to follow the letter of the law.
- You can execute at a higher level of the detail, i.e. less control accounts.
The key thing when adopting an EVM lite approach is to enhance the existing process in coordination with new ones to provide a greater level of oversight on you projects without taking on a significant burden of changing your culture and management processes. The ideal is the get the benefits of EVM without the rigorous oversight required on larger scale government contracts.