What is Deltek Cobra? I’m often asked this questions by folks new to government contracting and Earned Value Management (EVM). Deltek Cobra is used for managing project costs, measuring performance and analyzing budgets, actuals and forecasts. In short, it is a cost engine that complements scheduling tools such as Primavera P6, Microsoft Project and Deltek Open Plan.
Deltek Cobra satisfies all the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) EIA/748 ANSI Standard on EVMS. It provides 11 earned value techniques which provide flexibility in measurement, all standard EVM reports for all federal agencies and export of the UN/CEFACT XML for electronic data transmission of EVM data to your customers.
Deltek Cobra absolutely dominates the government contracting market space with it’s sister product, Deltek MPM, which is now being obsoleted by the end of 2018. Nine out of the top ten government contractors use Deltek Cobra for EVM. So, if you’re a government contractor or sub contractor that needs to use Earned Value techniques to manage your contract performance, Deltek Cobra is really the only way to go.
Deltek Cobra allows you to:
- Manage and Analyze
- Earned Value
- Change Control
- Reporting and Analysis
- Top Down Planning
- Proposal Pricing
- “What-if” Modeling
- Integrates With Scheduling Tools
- Primavera P6
- Microsoft Project
- Deltek Open Plan
If you need to get an accurate picture of your project’s performance, both cost and schedule need to be tightly managed together with your budget, plan and actuals. Integrating actuals, costs, resource and schedule information gives you an accurate picture of your project health. To have a truly integrated program management system, you need three tools which indlude Deltek Cobra, a scheduling tool and your accounting system.
Why Can’t My scheduling Tool Do This?
If you have to comply with ANSI EIA/748 ANSI Standards, your scheduling tool will not have the required capabilities. Whether you use Primavera P6, Deltek Open Plan or Microsoft Project, you will not be able to store the data in the required format, the calculations aren’t available and you won’t be able to produce the government mandated reports whose the formats are strictly mandated. This is why an EVMS that complies with the government standard includes three different systems, accounting, scheduling and Deltek Cobra.
Eliminate Manual Processes And Produce Reports You Can Trust
Deltek Cobra stores the plan, status and actual cost data at every level of the project, which is used to produce comprehensive reports. This gives most organizations the ability to produce accurate and reliable reports while eliminating manual processes.
Deltek Cobra adds to the functionality of scheduling tools by handling the cost management piece. Deltek Cobra’s Integration Wizard allows Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), resource definitions and rates to be loaded directly from the schedule. You can also load time-phase budgets, forecasts, activity status, earned value techniques and rate set data from the schedule.
Deltek Cobra also allows you to load and track actual costs, accruals, and commitments from your accounting system. You can either enter or load actual costs from your accounting system in a current period or cumulative-to-date format for a complete view of your budget vs actuals and variances within a single system.
Managing The Baseline
Managing a time-phased baseline is straightforward. You can enter daily, weekly or quarterly budgets and Deltek Cobra’s user defined calculations allow overhead, G&A, cost of money and foreign currencies to be calculated. Changes to the baseline are automatically tracked, including details of who made the change, the amount that was changed along with any additional comments.
Your final project costs are calculated using Deltek Cobra’s forecasting capabilities. An unlimited number of time-phased forecasts can be created, including but not limited to:
- Optimistic, pessimistic and most-likely forecasts for client reporting
- Use indicators, such as the Cost Performance Index (CPI), to calculate accurate forecasts that include project status and past performance
- Multiple forecasts based on the effects of future rate changes
Deltek Cobra multi-project, drill-down reporting provides visibility into project and program performance across your entire organization and helps identify trends and create efficiencies.
You can summarize projects by product line, program or functional organizational to quickly spot color-coded variances or look for trends to better understand performance, efficiency or utilization.
Deltek Cobra starts where most scheduling tools end. If you’re serious about Earned Value Management, government contacting and contract compliance, there really is no other tool that comes close. The robust nature and maturity of Deltek Cobra leaves many smaller competitors and startups in the dust. In my humble opinion, if you have a government contract mandating EVM, it would not be wise to risk using another tool.
Click on the links below to learn more about our Earned Value Management and Deltek consulting services and training: