Benefits of an EVMS Self-Governance Process

by Humphreys & Associates on April 6, 2023 last modified April 26, 2023

Contractors with a cognizant federal agency (CFA) approved or certified Earned Value Management System (EVMS) are expected to establish and execute an annual EVMS self-governance plan. Sometimes also called self-surveillance or self-assessment, the objective is the same. The contractor is responsible for establishing an internal process to ensure their EVMS, as implemented at the contract/project level, continues to:

  • Provide valid, reliable, and auditable information for visibility into technical, schedule, and cost progress with fact-based performance analysis. Project personnel have timely information about actual conditions, trends, and potential problems to implement effective corrective actions.
  • Maintain the integrity of the performance measurement baseline (PMB) for measuring completed work and to manage the remaining work.
  • Comply with the EIA-748 Standard for EVMS guidelines.

Equally important, the contractor is responsible for ensuring project personnel are:

  • Following the process and procedures described in their approved EVM System Description.
  • Establishing and maintaining quality schedule, cost, and risk/opportunity data.
  • Routinely using the EVMS (process, procedures, and tools) and EVM data to proactively manage their work effort.

Why is a self-governance process important?

With an established self-governance process and data-driven analytics, a contractor can objectively demonstrate to their customer that EVM and the use of EVM data is an integral part of their project management process. Establishing a culture of self-disclosure of issues and resolution ensures the EVMS is actively maintained, and project personnel understand the importance of their role in implementing the EVMS. Everyone must have confidence in the EVMS to provide timely, relevant, and actionable information to effectively manage and control projects.

An effective self-governance process provides the structure to routinely observe and assess how the EVMS is implemented on projects. This structured process documents what is assessed and how it is assessed using defined objective measures such as data quality metrics that can be analyzed over time to track the occurrence and resolution of issues.

What are the benefits of implementing a self-governance process?

There are a number of benefits to implementing a self-governance process for the contractor as well as the government customer.

The contractor’s management benefits from increased visibility into the “health” of the EVMS. Consistently verifying the system is implemented and used as intended instills confidence. They know they can depend on the EVMS to provide timely, reliable, and actionable information for visibility and control.

Routinely analyzing the results from the self-governance activities provides fact-based information a contractor can use to implement actions that improve the EVMS process and procedures, the means and methods project personnel use to implement the EVMS, or the training methods and content. With a structured and repeatable process in place, the contractor can:

  • Quickly identify and quantify process, people, or tool issues as well as the potential impact to meeting project objectives. Early identification of a problem often helps to mitigate the impact to the project.
  • Identify the root cause of the issue. Is it a recurring theme (a systemic issue) or a unique to a single project? This helps to determine the best way to resolve the issue.
  • Determine what actions are the most effective in mitigating the impact or resolving the root cause. Measuring and verifying outcomes helps to ensure the corrective action achieves the desired result.
  • Identify best in class practices that could be used on other projects. This is often overlooked as a positive outcome of the self-governance process that encourages continuous system improvements and innovation in project implementations.
  • Provide best practice guidance and support to encourage early correction or quick resolution of implementation issues. This helps to increase project personnel proficiency levels. Knowing structured fact-based self-governance assessments are conducted helps to reinforce the message that EVM practices are an integral part of managing projects.

It also builds confidence with the customer. Implementing a process of self-disclosure and corrective actions implemented demonstrates an on-going commitment to maintaining the EVMS. It also demonstrates the willingness to maintain open communications. The benefit of this approach is that it can help to:

  • Reduce the need for onsite government customer reviews or shorten the duration of a surveillance visit. When the contractor is providing regular information about their internal process to verify the health of their EVMS and internal corrective actions, it demonstrates the EVMS is being used as intended and remains compliant with the EIA-748 guidelines.
  • Minimize disruptions to project personnel. This is a direct result of reducing the need for customer reviews. Internal self-governance activities, system or tool improvements, or training can be scheduled to avoid impacting project personnel’s ability to accomplish project objectives.
  • Ensure long-term sustainability of the EVMS. An EVMS should be continually maintained to ensure process, procedures, and tools reflect current requirements. The goal should be to take advantage of opportunities to streamline procedures, improve the quality of the schedule and cost data, upgrade tools, and enable data integration/traceability to reduce the time and effort required to manage project work effort.

What are the characteristics of an effective self-governance process?

An effective self-governance process should be visible, structured, and endorsed by management. Key characteristics and features include:

  • Leadership engagement that encourages continuous improvement and a culture of compliance.
  • Encourages issue identification and tracking with timely closure and verifiable results.
  • A chartered authority structure with cross-organizational engagement that routinely interacts with leadership. This approach develops a broader base of internal expertise and experience.
  • A data-driven methodology to routinely assess system health using clearly defined and independently positioned oversight with a clear line to senior management.
  • Effective, consistent, and defined structured approach that is repeatable and sustainable.
  • Encourages improving project personnel skill levels using proven training  and mentoring techniques.
  • Transparency and means to collect feedback, both critical and praiseworthy.

Need help establishing a self-governance process? 

H&A earned value consultants often assist clients to create and implement a repeatable and sustainable self-governance process to verify their EVMS continues to support the EIA-748 guidelines as well as to assess how project personnel are implementing the EVMS. The objective is to establish a structured process to collect fact-based information useful for creating action plans to address identified deficiencies in the EVMS, how the EVMS is implemented, data quality, or the proficiency levels of project personnel. This structured process is also used to track action plans to closure and verify results.

An industry best practice is to include the EVMS self-governance or self-surveillance process in the EVM System Description along with other artifacts such as the EVMS self-governance charter. Contractors often use government customer surveillance artifacts such as DCMA or DOE automated or manual metrics as the basis to assess the quality of their schedule and cost data as part of their self-governance or self-surveillance process.

If you need help updating your EVM System Description to include a self-governance process, or need to create a self-governance plan, call us today at (714) 685-1730 to get started.

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