Control Account Manager’s Log – A Valuable Tool

by Humphreys & Associates on September 12, 2014

It is not always easy on a rapidly changing project for a Control Account Manager (CAM) to keep track of where the Control Account is with regard to the current scope, schedule, and budget status and the history behind revisions, both directed and requested, approved or disapproved, and incorporated or pending actions.

The Control Account Manager’s Log is a valuable tool the CAM could use to keep track of all of the transactions affecting control account scope, schedule and budgets. This tool is most helpful to the CAM when there have been multiple Baseline Change Requests (BCR) submitted that are not necessarily approved in the order submitted (if approved at all) or are not approved as submitted; i.e., Program Manager approval varies from the CAM’s submittal. Using this type of Log, the CAM can track change requests as they are approved, rejected or altered. The CAM can update the Log with the change in scope, schedule, and budget for every change. The CAM can also compare what was submitted to what was actually approved and ensure that the scope, schedule, and budget amounts on updated Control Account Work Authorizations are correct for each transaction, or at least understand any reasons for the differences.

An example CAM Log is shown below. Obviously, the example can, and should, be tailored to fit the organization’s requirements. For example, the budget shown below is a total; one may want to show budget elements in terms of labor, materials, or other direct costs. If the organization issues budgets through overhead costs to the CAMs, then a logical breakout would be to show those as well as the direct budget elements.

Control Account Manager (CAM) log

For example, as you can see in the second transaction adding WBS 6.6.3.5, the entire amount was approved, increasing the total budget to $2,086,570. For BCR 171, however, the CAM submitted a request for $11,310 in September; in October the Project Manager’s decision was to approve only $11,200 from Management Reserve (MR), raising the total budget to $2,097,770. Meanwhile, BCR 194 was submitted requesting $121,320, but that BCR has not yet been approved, and since then three other transactions have taken place (AUW 101, BCR 162 approved, and BCR 182 was submitted but not yet resolved).

As you can see, without a CAM level log, it could easily become very difficult for a CAM to keep track of the control account’s budget.

Feel free to call or email us if you have any questions regarding this article. Your comments are always welcome.

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