EVMS Compliance Review Series #2 – Contractor Self-Assessment

by Humphreys & Associates on May 8, 2012

Updated November 10, 2017


 EVMS Compliance Review SeriesThis is the second topic in a series discussing the DCMA EVMS Compliance Review (CR) process. This is an update to the original series #2 Blog that was based on the instruction book from the DCMA Website that identified the “DCMA 16 Step Compliance Review Process.” It has been replaced by the DCMA’s “Earned Value Management System Compliance Reviews Instruction 208 (DCMA-INST 208)” that has refined the process to Eight (8) Steps. See DCMA-INST 208 for a complete discussion of all the steps in that process.

The focus of this discussion is on the old CR Process Step 5, Contractor Self Assessment (SA) and old CR Process Step 6, EVM Center Data Analysis (DA). The Self Assessment (SA) is now a sub-step under the new CR Process Step 1, Notification and Data Call. Likewise, the Data Analysis is now a part of the new CR Process Step 2, Planning and Data Analysis (DA). DCMA has changed the SA to being an optional review the contractor can conduct on its own system prior to any customer review taking place.

Since the contractor should be using the same data the DCMA will be using for their Data Analysis (DA), it is essential to provide quality data in response to the DCMA data call and during any SA the contractor conducts. Remember, DCMA can halt the process if the data are found to be lacking. One item to note regarding a SA: if the contractor self-identifies a non-compliant issue and takes timely and appropriate steps to correct it, the DCMA does not intend to issue a Corrective Action Request (CAR) for that issue. They will however, continue to monitor the progress in correcting the noncompliance through the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) reviews.

The DCMA Data Analysis step is essentially an assessment of the contractor’s readiness to undergo the remainder of the CR Process, and will influence the timing of the rest of the on-site review process (this was formerly part of the old “Go/No Go” decision Step 9).

Even though the Self Assessment (SA) is now an optional activity for the contractor, it is a very important step a contractor should take in this process. Since the SA must demonstrate to the DCMA that the contractor has done a thorough assessment of their system and implementation, the amount of effort required to conduct the self-assessment is significant.

The contractor should conduct a review that simulates as closely as possible the type review the DCMA will conduct during the Compliance Review. This is typically done by an outside third party reviewer that will take an objective look at the contractor’s system and implementation. This can be a parent organization or a sister organization that has experience conducting such reviews. This type of experience within a company is not common, however, so companies often come to third party organizations, like Humphreys & Associates, Inc., who have done these sorts of assessments for many years.

The SA review process should simulate everything DCMA will do, including:

  • A comprehensive data call assessment;
  • Thorough evaluation of the EVM System Description and implementing procedures;
  • Use of Discrepancy Report (DR) and Corrective Action Request (CAR) forms with instructions;
  • Use of various checklists and EIA-748 guideline evaluation forms;
  • Use of role specific interview forms;
  • Conduct of simulated interviews across various functional levels;
  • Conduct of data traces by guideline; and
  • Use of briefing and report templates to convey the results.

DCMA expects a thorough scrub of the schedule and cost data. All data must trace through all project artifacts. The best way to prepare for this, as well as well as continually ensure data integrity, is to incorporate regular data quality checks into your normal project control activities. A few basic checks you should always perform include:

  • Verifying every Contract Performance Report (CPR) or Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) format before it is delivered to the customer. Trace and reconcile all summary values to verify the source detailed data matches what is on that report. Check for math errors, missing elements, or other invalid data, such as: the BCWScum (budget) or BCWPcum (earned value) is greater than the budget at completion (BAC) or the ACWPcum (actual cost) is greater than the estimate at completion (EAC).
  • Verifying all project logs (contract budget base, management reserve, undistributed budget, etc.) and confirming summary numbers match the CPR/ IPMR.
  • Confirming the schedule and cost data tell the same story and are reconciled to other project artifacts, such as the Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary (WBS) and work authorization documents.
  • Confirming the change logs are up to date as well as approved changes are incorporated in the schedule and cost data in a timely manner. All changes must be fully traceable.
  • Conducting schedule data quality checks to verify logic, status updates, accurate coding, calendar assignments, reasonable descriptions, and the like.
  • Verifying subcontractor schedule and cost data for accuracy and timeliness.

It takes effort to produce and maintain quality schedule and cost data for the life of a project. It requires management focus and attention to detail. With the wealth of toolsets available and the amount of data available electronically, implementing steps to make it easier to maintain data integrity can make a difference.

The processes that companies implement have the potential to hinder the process to produce and maintain quality data. Always be prepared to update desktop procedures or other process steps to create a single data source that is fully traceable. Where possible, eliminate duplicate steps, duplicate data entry, or manual rekeying that has the potential to compromise data integrity or the ability to conduct data traces.

Whether you have a customer or contractor review coming up or not, data integrity is a fundamental requirement for an effective EVMS.

Call Humphreys & Associates to assist with the contractor self-assessment process including reviewing the system documentation, performing data quality checks and helping prepare the data packages for delivery to DCMA. We can be reached at (714) 685-1730 or email us.


EVMS Compliance Review Series


The first blog in this series: Prep for the DCMA 8-Step Review Process

The third blog in this series: Using Storyboards to Depict the Entire EVMS

The fourth blog in this series: Training to Prepare for Interviews



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