Retaining EVMS Talent

by Humphreys & Associates | July 1, 2024 5:02 am

Earned Value Consultants

A long running challenge all companies face is attracting and retaining top project management talent in government contracting environments whether for the DoD, shipbuilding, NASA, DOE, or the intelligence community. Experienced program/project managers, control account managers (CAMs), schedulers, and project control analysts are always in short supply. It is expensive to continually hire and train new employees that elect to move on for a variety of reasons; successful strategies aimed at reducing turnover always help the financial bottom line.

An informal survey H&A earned value consultants recently conducted with corporate business managers and Earned Value Management System (EVMS) directors of A&D and DOE contractors highlighted this challenge of retaining top talent. One contractor surveyed had a 50% annual turnover rate in CAMs that was impacting their ability to sustain their EVMS best practices. The reasons the CAMs gave the business managers or EVMS directors for moving on are summarized in the following pie chart.

Reasons the CAMs gave for moving on: Left the Company - 17%, Retirement - 15%, Required too much overtime- 14%, No incentive or recognition - 14%, Promotion - 12%, Only want to do technical work - 11%, Not compensated to be a CAM - 9%, Transfer/ new job - 5%, Death - 3%

While some items are outside the control of a manager or director such as retirement and potentially leaving the company (which may have an underlying root cause related to other reasons cited), a good percentage could be addressed with a formal training and retention program. For example, adding up required too much overtime (14%), no incentive or recognition (14%), only want to do technical work (11%), and not compensated to be a CAM (9%) adds up to 48% of the reasons why they moved on. 

Establishing a Training and Retention Program

A strategy some companies have implemented to address this retention challenge is to establish a career path for talented technical, estimating, scheduling, and cost management project personnel with a formal training and retention program that aligns with their professional objectives. A successful approach for retaining and promoting motivated project personnel H&A earned value consultants have seen implemented at some A&D contractors included the following tactics.

Possible paths for a project planner to become a CAM.

Essential Components

Common attributes of successful training and retention programs included:

Retaining top project management talent requires a plan and strategy corporate management is invested in and actively maintains. It is an inherent component of the corporate culture that demonstrates a commitment to excellence in project management and sustaining a best in class EVMS. 

H&A earned value consultants often help corporate business managers and EVM directors chart out training plans for cross-training project personnel and helping them establish internal CAM or project controls certification programs. Licensing H&A training materials or Virtual Learning Lab (VLL) scheduling and EVM online training reduces the time required to develop and maintain training materials. We can do the same for you. Give us a call today at (714) 685-1730. 

Source URL: