EVMS Compliance in an RFP
Many U.S. government contracts require contractors to have a fully compliant earned value management system (EVMS). The expectation is that you will complete your RFP response setting out how you will demonstrate EVMS compliance – even if you don’t currently have a compliant system in place.
That’s the situation that AMEC found itself in. AMEC designs, delivers and maintains strategic assets for customers and is one of the world’s leading engineering and consultancy companies. A key division within the firm, AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc., was working with a government contractor on a $1bn program, providing design and construction expertise. The RFP for the work specified a number of EVMS requirements to meet especially around compliant reporting.
Ten Six worked with AMEC to make sure the RFP response was comprehensive and evidenced that the EVM mandate could be adequately met. So how do you demonstrate EVMS compliance in a proposal response? Below we lay out what we did so you can follow the same process.
Review the RFP
First, it’s important to review the RFP requirements. The team needs to know what is expected so they can make sure the response ticks all the boxes. As part of this, it’s worth ensuring that everyone has the same level of understanding about EVMS and what that means. Earned value executive training will help bring the senior management team and the proposal team up to speed with what implementing an EVMS is all about.
In AMEC’s case, our pre-work included making sure the team understood what’s involved in an EVM audit and the concept of a ‘single thread data trace’. Seeing how all the data components link together highlights how integrated the revenue stream and project data needs to be. Making earned value real with examples is a key way of helping to build executive support for the work that needs to be done.
Carry out an assessment and gap analysis
Next, carry out an assessment of the existing environment and artifacts to inform the gap analysis. That exercise should cover a review of the people, processes and tools available and compare the current position to the set of 32 guidelines (EIA-748) for earned value management environments. The goal of the assessment is to gain an understanding of readiness. This step can take some time. A full analysis, for example, may take around 2-weeks just for the comprehensive review of what is currently in place – including conversations with key personnel to assess how prepared they are to move swiftly into earned value ways of working. The change management aspects of shifting work culture should not be underestimated.
Key personnel to involve at this point include program management and senior leaders, subcontractor management, finance teams especially cost accounting, and project/program controls team members.
Tools should also be reviewed as you may find that you have suitable tools in place but they simply aren’t yet set up appropriately to facilitate the EVMS data collection and reporting processes. In AMEC’s case, they needed to show they could provide standard earned value reports in a compliant way including:
- Contract Funds Status Report (CFSR)
- Contract Performance Report (CPR)
- Cost Data Summary Report (CDSR).
Your RFP may well mandate the same. If new tools or reports are needed, factor in the time and budget to both implement and train people on them.
The assessment step provides an understanding of where the gaps exist in the current program set up and what, if anything, is already compliant.
Create an implementation schedule
Now the team understands where they are going and what goals need to be met to address compliance gaps, you can pull together an implementation schedule. This is a kind of roadmap that covers the areas that need to be addressed. Typically, this will cover all the tasks and training required to get to a point where the EVMS can be externally certified as compliant.
From a training perspective, it’s common to need to train program management and program controls teams to familiarize them with the expectations and reporting for an EVMS. Tailored training for your different personnel will improve readiness and make it more likely that you’ll reach compliance within your timeframes.
From a processes perspective, consider what currently exists and what new processes need to be implemented to address the EIA-748 guidelines. You may have to revise or implement processes around planning and budgeting, accounting, data analysis and more. Each process should have a flowchart that outlines the process steps along with functional swim lanes highlighting ownership of each step. It’s common to need a processes workstream when implementing an EVMS.
With the elements of the plan understood, the proposal can be written.
Write your RFP response
At this time, you don’t have to demonstrate that you are already compliant – you don’t have to draw up all the process flowcharts just yet. The RFP response should lay out the details of your implementation plan that shows how you will achieve compliance. The plan should evidence all your work to date and show that the program team fully understands what is expected. This can include tasks such as a deep-dive gap analysis into any areas that need more investigation.
Generally, EVMS compliance in an RFP will also include an Earned Value Management System Description (EVMSD) which is a summary of what your system will look like when it is in place. It can help to have an external expert consultancy support RFP responses and the creation of the system description.
Read more about our work with AMEC in this case study.