EVM: The IPMR and Subcontract Flowdown

by Humphreys & Associates on November 12, 2014

EVM Contractors, EVM Subcontractors, IPMR & Flowdown

For decades government EVM project managers performed the task of integration of all prime and subcontractor performance and the associated data on a project. In the late 1960s things changed. The U.S. Federal Government mandated that the prime contractor become the integrator of the performance and the data. Many contractors undertook this responsibility nicely. However, for many contractors in this new role their subcontract management expertise and data accumulation capabilities were lacking on large R&D, SDD, and LRIP subcontract efforts in particular. The primes needed to include all of the data from their subcontractors that comprised as much as 80% of the contract effort. The timing of subcontractor reports became very important. However, software was “what it was” in the 1960s and ‘70s, and many EVM subcontractors were unable to meet the required delivery dates.

In the early 1980s the National Security Industrial Association [now the NDIA] conducted a survey and found that 40% of the subcontractor data was delayed by a month [additional reference, 2008 – NDIA.org source]. Consequently, January data from subcontractors would not be entered into the prime contractor’s performance reports [now IPMR or CPR] until the prime’s February report which may be delivered around 15 March. Today’s software has improved extensively and many EVM subcontractors recognize the importance of timeliness of data; they are also prime contractors on other EVM projects.

Many companies have not yet begun delivering performance data using the new Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR). Companies that are using the IPMR appear to be adapting well to the new requirements, specifically in regards to the submission date and successful retrieval of subcontractor data. The new IPMR Data Item Description, DI-MGMT-81861, specifically requires that “Formats 1-6 shall be submitted to the procuring activity no later than 12 working days following the contractor’s accounting period cutoff date. This requirement may be tailored through contract negotiations to allow submission as late as 17 working days, provided the contractor and Government agree that contract complexity and/or integration of subcontractor and vendor performance data warrant additional time and will yield more accurate performance.”

The table below illustrates the results of a survey H&A conducted of fifteen major contractors. While the sample size is small, the survey found that five prime contractors had an IPMR requirement flowdown to a subcontractor with NTE 12 working days submission CDRL requirement. In all five cases, the prime contractors were able to successfully incorporate subcontract data in time to meet the submission requirement.

EVM IPMR chart

While it has taken over 40 years, it is now recognized by both the government and contractors that timely incorporation of subcontractor performance data in the prime’s performance report helps validate the project data–the purpose of early visibility and prompt decision making.

Our survey found that those contractors submitting the IPMR are successfully incorporating subcontractors’ performance data in their IPMRs as the DID Instructions stipulate. It is hoped that the era of the “one-month lag” with subcontractor performance data has ended; and the government will be receiving accurate, timely IPMR performance data from its prime contractors.

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