When reviewing an Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) there are certain things I look for that can alert you to changes in the status of your project or highlight data integrity issues. The following list ranges from finding data anomalies that put the validity of the data into question, to analytics that help identify areas that need some more digging. The following is a list of those items:
- Negative Numbers – Any negative numbers in the IPMR format 1, particularly performance could indicate an error in the data or missed performance objectives and should be further investigated. In addition an explanation for negative numbers should be explained in the format 5 particularly if the variance is exceeding predetermined thresholds. Just keep in mind that negative numbers in any of the IPMR formats are generally bad news and should always be analyzed further.
- Retroactive changes – Two ways to look at this depending on how many formats are being generated. Using the format 1. subtract the current period from the cumulative amount at each reporting level. If the total does not equal the prior period cumulative, you have retroactive or current period changes. On the format 3 add columns 6.a BCWS Cumulative to date + BCWS for the current period, if that does not equal column 6.c BCWS Cumulative to date then you have retroactive changes or current period changes.
- Header information – Does Section 5 line up with the negotiated contract values?
- Header Information – Section 4 – are report period dates correct?
- Header Information – Is contractor information correct (Sections 1, 2, 3).
- Total Allocated Budget (TAB) – Verify that Total Allocated Budget (TAB) align in report and header. Column 8.14.g total Budget (Distributed budget, Undistributed Budget and Management Reserve) should equal 5.b + 5.c.
- EAC realism – Using TCPI analysis, add a column to the right of the IPMR Format 1 and input the TCPI calculation (BCWS-BCWP/ETC). If the TCPI number is more than .10 plus or minus from the cumulative CPI it could mean that the EAC needs an update. It’s possible an explanation for the discrepancy has already been provided in the format 5, so be sure to check that first.
Any known data anomalies that the contractor is aware of should be reported and justified in the format 5 or an executive summary, if one is prepared. So be sure to cross check any findings with the format 5. It’s important to note that the above generally reviews the IPMR for data anomalies and doesn’t really cover the accuracy of the data. However data anomalies are a good indicator of a system that is not being executed in accordance with the companies earned value policies and may indicate a failing process.