by Humphreys & Associates | August 15, 2014 2:55 pm
For projects, the moment the baseline is established it is subject to change and a disciplined approach in the change process must be in effect. The source of project changes can be either external or internal. External changes frequently affect all aspects of a contractor’s internal planning and control system and are generally for effort that is out-of-scope to the contract. Contract changes impact the Contract Budget Base (CBB) and are distributed to the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB), which includes the distributed budgets containing control accounts, and Summary Level Planning Packages, and to the Undistributed Budget.
These changes may also impact the Management Reserve (MR) budget if the decision were made to withhold reserve from the budget for the change. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) serves as the framework for integrating changes within the project’s structure. Internal changes operate much the same, but they do not change the CBB. The most common reasons for internal changes are the allocation of MR for contractually in-scope effort, replanning of future work, and converting planning packages to work packages.
The Earned Value Management Systems Guidelines require that all changes, regardless of the source, be incorporated in a timely and disciplined manner. Consequently, the project needs to have a formal change process and procedures in place. Following these processes and procedures will also help minimize disruptions in the current effort while changes are being incorporated. An undisciplined change control process has the potential to create timing or quality issues that will lessen the baseline’s effectiveness as a management tool.
Baseline changes must also be tracked to ensure baseline integrity. The most effective way to do this is to establish baseline logs to track all approved changes. These can include the Contract Budget Base (CBB) Log, as shown below, the Management Reserve (MR) Log, and the Undistributed Budget (UB) Log. In addition, a log may be established to track all approved, unapproved and unresolved change requests.
Once established, these logs must be maintained and reconciled to the data reported in the Integrated Program Management Report (or Contract Performance Report) that is delivered to the customer on a monthly basis. This reconciliation helps validate that the PMB accurately represents the project’s technical plans and requirements.
To find out more about this topic or if you have questions, feel free to contact Humphreys & Associates.
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