Navigating EVMS Certification: A Step-by-Step Guide to Compliance

by Humphreys & Associates on November 29, 2023

Navigating EVMS Certification

In the complex landscape of project management, ensuring compliance with the EIA-748 Standard for Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS) Guidelines is a critical step for companies seeking to secure and successfully manage government contracts. Humphreys & Associates are leaders in earned value consulting, providing comprehensive strategies and solutions tailored to meet the rigorous requirements of the EVMS approval or certification process by a Cognizant Federal Agency (CFA). This article is the first part of a three-part series aimed at guiding organizations through the process of implementing a compliant EVMS and successfully completing a CFA EVMS compliance review.

Understanding the EVMS Approval or Certification Process

Achieving EVMS approval or certification by a CFA such as the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) or the Department of Energy (DOE) is a structured process that requires careful planning and execution. The process begins with a thorough understanding of the EIA-748 Standard for EVMS Guidelines, which is the foundation for determining whether an EVMS is compliant. The EIA-748 Guidelines define the requirements to establish and maintain an effective EVMS. The approval or certification process involves several key steps, beginning with the initial application and concluding with the CFA formal determination a contractor’s EVMS complies with the Guidelines. Throughout this journey, organizations must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Guideline requirements and how they are implemented within their project management framework as documented in their EVM System Description.

Steps to Achieve EVMS Certification

  1. Preparation and Self-Assessment: Conducting an internal review of the current project management processes and comparing them against the EIA-748 Standard for EVMS Guideline requirements is an important first step to identify gaps in the system that will need to be addressed.
  2. Training and Education: It is crucial for the team responsible for EVMS implementation to receive proper training to understand the Guideline requirements and how to apply them.
  3. System Description Development: A comprehensive EVM System Description that explains how the organization’s processes meet the EIA-748 Guideline requirements must be developed.
  4. Implementation: The EVMS must be implemented on a project, demonstrating the project team’s ability to use the EVMS and EVM data to manage the project, as well as the system’s functionality in a real-world scenario.
  5. Mock Compliance Review: An internal review, often with the help of an independent third party, should be conducted to verify the EVMS complies with the Guideline requirements as well as to verify the quality of the project’s schedule and cost data to provide timely and actionable information for managing the project.
  6. Formal Compliance Review: A CFA conducts a formal review of the EVMS. This includes reviewing the EVM System Description, performing a detailed examination of project schedule and cost data, conducting interviews with project personnel, and assessing how the EVMS has been implemented.

Importance of Complying with the EIA-748 Guidelines

Meeting the EIA-748 Guideline requirements is not just about compliance; it is about integrating a system that enhances the project management capabilities of an organization. A well-implemented EVMS facilitates better project control, provides early warning signs of performance issues, and supports informed decision-making. Compliance with the Guidelines is often a prerequisite for bidding on government contracts, making a formal EVMS approval or certification a strategic necessity for companies in the defense, aerospace, and construction industries, among others.

Key Requirements for an EIA-748 Compliant EVMS

The EIA-748 Standard for EVMS provides the basic guideline requirements for organizations to establish and implement a system that integrates project work scope with the schedule and cost components to enhance project planning and control. The Guidelines are organized into these process areas:

  • Organization: The organization guidelines focus on establishing the framework for decomposing a project’s scope of work to level where it is possible to identify management responsibility for the work scope, schedule, and cost components.
  • Planning, Scheduling, and Budgeting: The organization guidelines are the framework for the planning, scheduling, and budgeting process required to establish the performance measurement baseline, a common point of reference for measuring completed work and communicating the project’s current status.
  • Accounting Considerations: These guidelines focus on the recurring processes for determining progress and collecting the actual costs for work performed. The objective is to ensure alignment between the budget plan, performance claimed (earned value), and actual costs to continually assess and analyze project performance for potential corrective action.
  • Analysis and Management Reports: These guidelines facilitate the analysis and use of the performance data to proactively manage the project. An EVMS generates variance data that helps management to focus on areas that are not performing to plan for potential corrective action.
  • Revisions and Data Maintenance: The integrity of the performance measurement baseline must be maintained to manage the remaining work on a project. These guidelines focus on establishing a controlled process to document, authorize, track, and manage revisions to a project’s scope, schedule, and budget.

Frequency and Importance of Surveillance Reviews

Surveillance reviews are an important part of maintaining a compliant EVMS. Once the CFA has approved or certified a contractor’s EVMS, the contractor is responsible for implementing an annual self-surveillance or self-governance process to ensure the EVMS continues to be implemented on projects in an effective and consistent manner in compliance with the EIA-748 Guidelines. It also ensures the contractor’s EVMS process and procedures, training, and tools are actively maintained over time. The government customer also conducts surveillance for the life a contract, typically on an annual basis. This is a recurring evaluation of the contractor’s management control practices and samples of internal and external reported data. The focus is typically on major system activities, problem identification, and tracking any corrective actions to closure.

The successful implementation of an EVMS that complies with the EIA-748 Guideline requirements is a testament to an organization’s commitment to project excellence. It demonstrates a capability many government agencies require, making it an essential investment for businesses looking to expand their opportunities within this sector. The subsequent articles in this series will delve into the specifics of the EVMS implementation process and the intricacies of preparing for EVMS compliance and surveillance reviews.

Stay tuned to learn more about effective EVMS implementation for government contracts in our next blog, “Effective EVMS Implementation for Government Contracts: Roles and Challenges,” and how to prepare for surveillance or compliance reviews in “Preparing for EVMS Reviews: Strategies for Success with Humphreys & Associates.”

This article has provided an overview of the EVMS approval or certification process by a CFA and the importance of complying with EIA-748 Standard for EVMS Guidelines. 

Printer Friendly Version


Preparing for EVMS Reviews

Facing an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) compliance review can be an imposing prospect for any organization with EVMS contractual requirements. With strategic preparation and expert guidance from Humphreys & Associates, renowned for their leadership in earned value consulting, this necessity can be transformed into an opportunity for process improvement to ensure an effective and efficient EVMS can be implemented on any project. This comprehensive guide, the first in a three-part series, takes a closer look at the strategic approach necessary for preparing for a Cognizant Federal Agency (CFA) EVMS compliance review. CFAs include the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) for DoD and NASA contracts and the Department of Energy (DOE). A CFA conducts a formal review to determine whether the contractor’s EVMS is compliant with the EIA-748 Standard for EVMS Guidelines. A formally approved or certified EVMS is an EVMS the CFA has determined to be compliant with the EIA-748 Guidelines.

Key Elements in Preparing for an EVMS Compliance Review

A successful EVMS compliance review is predicated on several fundamental elements. Being well-prepared in these areas can make the difference between a review that goes smoothly and one that uncovers issues that require corrective action.

  • Thorough Documentation: Proper documentation is the backbone of any review process. It’s essential to maintain an EVM System Description that explains how the system complies with the EIA-748 Guideline requirements as well as any agency specific EVMS requirements. This includes documented policies and procedures as well as process flowcharts illustrating system inputs and outputs with responsibility assignments.
  • Mock Reviews: Conducting internal mock reviews can serve as a rehearsal for the actual review. These practice runs help to uncover any weaknesses in the system and provide a chance to correct them beforehand. Mock reviews also help familiarize the team with the compliance review process, reducing anxiety and ensuring that everyone knows what to expect.
  • Continuous Training: Regular and comprehensive training ensures that project personnel are familiar with the EVMS processes, know how to use the EVM data, and understand the importance of their role in maintaining quality schedule and cost data. This training should be updated regularly to reflect any changes in EVMS requirements, software tools, or company procedures.
  • Data Integrity: The accuracy and completeness of project data are crucial. Regular validation checks should be conducted to ensure data in the EVMS are valid, reliable, and traceable. This includes verifying the project data aligns with the corporate financial records and that the system accurately reflects the project’s current status.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Effective reviews require the cooperation and understanding of all stakeholders. Engaging them early in the review process helps ensure everyone is on the same page and that the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. This engagement includes regular communication and involvement in the compliance review preparation process.

Assistance in the Review Preparation Process

Humphreys & Associates provides comprehensive services designed to support organizations throughout the compliance review preparation process. This includes:

  • Compliance Review Readiness Assessments: These assessments are crucial in determining the readiness of an organization’s system, personnel, and data quality for a compliance review. The assessment identifies areas of strength and those requiring improvement, enabling targeted action to enhance readiness.
  • Preparation Workshops: Workshops conducted by experienced consultants can train and prepare the team for the compliance. These sessions cover everything from the basics of EVM to the nuances of the review process, tailored to the specific needs of the organization.
  • Documentation Review: Prior to an compliance review, it’s beneficial to have an external review of the documentation that will be presented. This review can identify areas where additional information is needed and ensure that the documentation accurately reflects the EVMS and compliance with the EIA-748 Guidelines.
  • Support Services: During the review, having expert support available can alleviate the challenges that may arise. This includes on-the-spot advice and assistance in addressing the CFA’s questions and concerns. Should the CFA issue formal corrective action requests (CARs), Humphreys & Associates can assist with producing and implementing the corrective action plans (CAPs) to resolve the deficiencies as quickly as possible.

Common EVMS Review Findings and Remediation

There are several common findings that an EVMS compliance review might reveal that could potentially impact an organization’s ability to obtain a formal CFA EVMS compliance approval or certification. Being aware of these potential findings and understanding how to address them is key to success.

  • Inadequate Baseline Control: Maintaining a current and accurate performance measurement baseline is essential. When a government review team finds baseline control to be lacking, it’s often due to inadequate processes for incorporating changes into the baseline or failing to maintain traceability of the changes.
  • Insufficient Documentation: Documentation gaps can lead to findings of non-compliance. Government review teams need to see evidence that a complete set of processes are in place and that these processes are being followed. This includes having proper version control and evidence of management approvals.
  • Data Discrepancies: Differences between what’s reported in the project reports and the actual project data can indicate serious issues with data management systems. Ensuring that the EVMS software is properly configured, data validation checks are routinely performed, and that schedule and cost data align can prevent such discrepancies.

To address and prevent these common issues, Humphreys & Associates recommends a proactive stance, with robust change control processes, continuous enhancement of documented practices, and improvements to data management systems to ensure accuracy and traceability.

Preparing for an EVMS compliance review is a critical task that can significantly impact the management and success of government contracts. With the strategies provided here and the support of Humphreys & Associates, organizations can confidently navigate the EVMS compliance review process.

Explore the nuances of the implementation phase in “Effective EVMS Implementation for Government Contracts: Roles and Challenges,” and enhance your understanding of the certification process in “Navigating EVMS Certification: A Step-by-Step Guide to Compliance.”

Printer Friendly Version


Effective EVMS Implementation for Government Contracts: Roles and Challenges

November 29, 2023 EVM Consulting

Master EVMS for government contracts with Humphreys & Associates. Navigate roles, challenges, and best practices for successful implementation.

Read the full article →

Incorporating IMS Information Directly into Independent Estimate at Completion (IEAC) Formulas

November 1, 2023 Estimate at Completion (EAC)

Unlock Precise Cost Forecasts: Enhance IEAC Calculations with IMS Data, Duration Performance, and Realism Ratio.

Read the full article →

Establishing a Robust EVMS Self-Governance Process

October 1, 2023 EVMS

Discover how H&A’s expertise in EVMS self-governance processes transformed TRIAD’s approach to compliance.

Read the full article →

Formal Reprogramming: OTB or OTS Best Practice Tips

September 1, 2023 Corrective Action Request (CAR)

Understand Over Target Baseline (OTB)/Schedule (OTS) & their application. Learn about Formal Reprogramming causing OTB/OTS, a rare event. Comply with contracts & gov’t EVMS to prevent Corrective Action Requests (CARs). Save resources by avoiding unnecessary fixes.

Read the full article →