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Earned Value Management

The links at the bottom of this page will help an investment manager or project team implement its earned value management program.

"Project Management With The Headlights On"

Earned value management (EVM) is one of the tools in a project manager's toolbox.  It is the financial look at what work was budgeted to be completed by now, what the budgeted cost is for the work that actually has been completed, and what the actual cost to date is.   It looks at completion of authorized work and the authorized budget for that actually completed work, referred to as the "earned value."

Since CMS manages approximately one fifth of the entire Federal budget, it is important that we use the taxpayers' dollars as efficiently and effectively as possible.   CMS' portfolio of information technology (IT) investments is developed and prioritized through our capital planning and investment control process, which involves senior management throughout the agency.

Once an investment—with its individual projects—is approved for funding, it falls to the investment manager and the project managers to insure that the projects are implemented successfully.   Earned value monitoring and management provides early warning when a project is straying from its baseline plan, and shows whether actions taken to correct a situation are effective.   HHS requires that IT investments and projects track and report monthly on cost and schedule performance.  CMS follows the HHS EVM and PBM (performance baseline management) policies and procedures.

Below are several considerations for an earned value management program.

EVMS:  An earned value management system (EVMS) is that collection of procedures and tools which allows the investment manager or project manager to monitor and control work cost, schedule, and scope elements for optimum project completion.  Desired EVMS capabilities are defined by the guidelines of American National Standards Institute/Electronic Industries Alliance (ANSI/EIA) Standard 748, Earned Value Management Systems.  ANSI/EIA Standard 748 is available directly from the ANSI (see "Related Links Outside CMS" at the bottom of this page).

EVMS contract clauses required by the Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR; see "Related Links Inside CMS" at the bottom of this page) are in HHSAR sections at 352.234, especially 352.234-2.

HHS Acquisition Guidance Concerning Earned Value Management specifies when a CMS investment must maintain an ANSI/EIA 748-compliant EVMS, and with which of the 32 guidelines it must comply (See "Related Links Inside CMS" at the bottom of this page).   IT investments/projects that do not require an ANSI/EIA 748-compliant EVMS must nevertheless monitor cost and schedule performance data, manage it, and report it monthly.  The most straightforward way to do this is with the CPR and an IMS.

CPR:  The Contract Performance Report (CPR) format developed by the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD) is required by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) procedures for monthly EVM reporting.  The CPR is available under "Downloads" below as a Microsoft Excel workbook, with each of the five report formats being a separate sheet of the workbook.  Also available below for download is DoD DID (data item description) DI-MGMT-81466A, which explains what data is placed into each field of the report.

HHS policy as to when the CPR is required and which formats of the CPR must be submitted is available under "Related Links Inside CMS" at the bottom of this page.

For contractors with firm, fixed-price (FFP) contracts, report the actual costs-to-CMS, from invoices, rather than contractor costs.   Contractors should organize invoices by CMS investment milestones and project activities, for data clarity.

IMS:  An integrated master schedule (IMS) consolidates all components of an investment into a single data set.  Usually the most straightforward way to do this is with a project scheduling tool.  The CMS standard project scheduling tool is Microsoft Project.

IBR:  An integrated baseline review (IBR) is a discussion between the respective government and contractor teams intended to confirm that the project is properly planned and ready for execution.  IBRs are intended to provide a mutual understanding of risks inherent in contractors' performance plans and underlying management control systems.  The IBR is conducted to obtain government and contractor agreement that the scope, schedule, and cost that have been proposed for the project are adequately documented and are in accord with one another, and that the project management strategy is appropriate for moving the project forward.  The IBR process establishes mutual understanding and acceptance of the performance measurement baseline and mitigates program risk.

HHS requires that each IT project comprising each IT investment conduct an IBR at the end of its EPLC Planning Phase.

The IBR link under "Downloads" below is to a document that provides a summary description, guidance for conducting an IBR, and roles and responsibilities, and describes inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs.

The GAO Cost Estimating And Assessment Guide link under "Related Links Outside CMS" below is to a document that provides cost estimating techniques, best practices, and discussions on managing program cost, especially using EVM.

OPPM:  HHS hosts the Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management (OPPM) tool as its investment performance oversight and management database.  Each CMS major investment manager is responsible for ensuring cost and schedule update entries are posted to OPPM for the investment by the tenth of each month.  CMS/OIS capital planning and EVM staff provide the local CMS administrators for OPPM; contact the OIS capital planning/EVM staff for access and for password changes.  The OPPM Monthly Cost & Schedule Update Instructions link under "Downloads" below provides step-by-step instructions.

EVM Training:  Two related courses have been jointly developed by CMS and the DAU (Defense Acquisition University), a one-day Basic EVM Course and a two-day IBR Course, each presented by DAU instructors.   It is recommended that they not be taken together, for maximum learning.   The courses are scheduled when training funds become available, usually in the second half of each fiscal year.   Contact the OIS IT governance/EVM staff for details.

Online EVM training is available to federal employees through the DAU Web site.   See the DAU online EVM training link under "Related Links Outside CMS" at the bottom of this page.   When you get there, browse the continuous learning course catalog (box on the left) to find the course(s) of interest.   Then, go back to the DAU home page, click on the "Student Information" tab at the top, click on the "Apply for a Course" graphic, and select "Non-DoD Federal Government Agencies" to register.   When you get there, you will be directed to log in to the FAITAS (Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System) to record your training for procurement qualifications.