I’ll start with a little background and history to give you some perspective about the IPMR Format Report formats for earned value metrics. And this discussion focuses largely on the formal reports that are a contractual requirement for Department of Defense when you win projects that are above a certain value.
In short, there are 7 Integrated Program Management Report formats that are required for submission to the government customer as specified in the contract language. These formats are produced either by hand with Excel or from earned value management tools such as Deltek Cobra. Their purpose is to provide a standard set of project earned value metrics. These IPMR Format reports can be read and cross-referenced to ensure that a project is proceeding as planned and that no one is trying to sweep unsavory details under the rug.
History of the IPMR
In June of 2012, PARCA (Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses – a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition), released a major change to the longstanding Cost Performance Report (CPR) formats.
Longstanding in this regard for the CPR DID is October 19th, 1995, with a revision of this DI-MGMT 81466 to revision A in March of 2005. Anyone who has been moving the earned value management circles for a few years is familiar with the CPR formats 1–5.
However a shakeup came along when this new Data Item Description (DID) was published as the Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) DID DI-MGMT-81861. It superseded the CPR Data Item Description (DID) DI-MGMT-81466A. New defense contracts issued after June 2012 now required IPMR reporting. Existing contracts where grandfathered in to continue with the original CPR Formats.
And just as we all recovered from that release, in September of 2015 the DI-MGMT-81861A revision was released and is the current DID at the time of writing this article. So the term ‘shakeup’ is kind of tongue in cheek because most of the reports saw only minors changes. Format 3’s layout changed a little, but for the most part even those intimately familiar with the CPRs didn’t miss a beat switching to the updated IPMRs.
And one last point before I describe the IPMR Format reports in a little more detail. There is a DI-MGMT-81861 revision B (known as the IPMR 2 release) in the works at this time (April 2019). But my research has not uncovered a reliable release date for this update. What I can tell you is that the focus of this update is on the schedule and cost data requirements. For the cost data you can expect similar requirements to the current format 7.
Vendors are working alongside the DoD to get their applications ready for this new revision. However, delays in this release have been impacting software release cycles for a number of vendors who expected this to be out by now. As we get more news on a release date, we’ll post it here on the Ten Six blog.
IPMR Format 1 – this is the staple of the format reports. It offers current and cumulative planned, earned, and actual costs with schedule and cost variance fields, organized by WBS. It also offers reprogramming columns for over target baseline values, and BAC, EAC, and VAC values to the far right of the report. With a format 1 in hand you have the ability to crunch all the fundamental EV metrics.
IPMR Format 2 – basically the same as the Format 1 except the data is arranged by the contractors organizational breakdown structure (OBS).
IPMR Format 3 – this report provides the budget baseline upon which performance is being measured. It also shows certain cost allocation details about any changes made to the baseline in the current period.
IPMR Format 4 – this report provides staffing level estimates (head count) based upon the same organizational groups as your format 2 report.
IPMR Format 5 – this report is used to explain significant variations from the baseline that have been highlighted in the Format 1 report. Control Account Managers enter narratives to explain the reason, impact, and corrective actions they plan to take to mitigate the issue.
IPMR Format 6 – this report is an electronic file of the contractor’s Integrated Master Schedule that contains status data as of the report date.Unless otherwise specified in the CDRLs this file is submitted in the format of the contractor’s scheduling system, i.e. XML for Microsoft Project, XER or XML for Primavera P6 and EPPM respectively, and BK3 for Open Plan Professional.
IPMR Format 7 – this report is an annual report in electronic format. Often based on the UNCFACT XML format, it captures the historical, time-phased actual costs and future time-phased Estimate to Complete values for all of the reported WBS elements of Format 1. Most off-the-shelf schedule and cost management software systems provide format 7 output formats for this reporting requirement.
The Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) has provided an important framework of standards to aid communication between contractor and customer. The first five report formats featured above have been around in one form or another for well over 20 years. As mentioned previously, at the time of writing this article, there is an IPMR 2 release in the works. We will keep you posted with news on this new protocol that we expect to see later in 2019.