Earned Value Management (EVM)
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 ensure 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 Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) Standard 748, Earned Value Management Systems.
EVMS contract clauses required by the Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR; see "Related Links" at the bottom of this page) are in HHSAR sections 334 for EVMS only if applicable to your contract. The determination as to whether the EVMS should apply to a contract, and whether it should be certified by a cognizant federal agency (CFA) depends on the contract type and value. Please see HHSAR Part 334 (See "Related Links" at the bottom of this page).
IT investments/projects that do not require an 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 IPMR (Integrated Program Management Report) including the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)
IPMR: The IPMR formats 1 thru 7 developed by the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD) is recommended for monthly EVM reporting. The IPMRs can be received via XML feed or file. Available below for download is the DoD DID (data item description) DI-MGMT-81861A, which explains what data is placed into each field of the report.
For contractors with firm, fixed-price (FFP) contracts, report the actual costs-to-CMS, from the IPRM. Contractors are encouraged to organize WBS packages into milestones and project functionalities or outcomes of up to 180 days in duration, 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" below is to a document that provides cost estimating techniques, best practices, and discussions on managing program cost, especially using EVM.
PMT: HHS hosts the Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management (OPPM) tool as the portfolio management 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 the PMT for the investment by the tenth of each month. CMS/OIT capital planning and investment analysts are the local administrators for the PMT; contact the OIT capital planning staff/investment analysts for access and for password changes. The PMT 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 OIT IT EVM staff member 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" at the bottom of this page.
For more information on EVM, please contact IT_Investments@cms.hhs.gov.