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Navigating an earned value management validation led by NASA: A contractor s perspective and helpful hints

AuthorLiggett, William; Hunter, Howard; Jones, Matthew;
KeywordsBudget control; Compliance control; Contractors; Human resource management; Man machine systems; NASA; Network security; Personnel training; Probes; Project management; Space flight; Value engineering; Parker Engineering
AbstractIn 2012, The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) was approved by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to move forward with Phase B of the Solar Probe Plus (SPP) Mission to design and build the first spacecraft to fly into the Sun s outer atmosphere and study its effects on planetary systems and human activities. While APL had successfully utilized its earned value management system (EVMS) on the Van Allen Probes mission, the SPP contract called for a "certified" EVMS, which required an in-depth government compliance review, validation, and approval. Historically, government agencies and contractors were dependent on the availability of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) to conduct EVMS compliance reviews, but in June 2013 NASA decided to perform the reviews in lieu of DCMA. This review was formally conducted May 11-15, 2015. This paper details the cost and schedule tools, methods, and processes APL used to satisfy the 32 guide lines of EIA-748 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Integrated Program Management Division (IPMD) EVMS Intent Guide and Systems Acceptance Guide NASA uses to determine EVMS capability and compliance. It explores the following: • Establishing an early relations hip with NASA to understand expectations, proces s areas, and s uccess criteria • Understating the review roadmap used by NAS A for integrated baseline reviews, progres s assessment vis its, progres s as sessment reviews, s elf-assessment reviews • Creating buy-in from the organization and navigating the pitfalls of "management by consensus" versus "management by dictate" • Tool acquisition, development, and implementation for cost and schedule management • Reinforcing the role of the control account manager (CAM) in the EVM process, development of training material, and CAM-specific tools for success • Creating compliant methods for organizing, planning, and integrating cost and schedule • Developing compliant approaches for quantifying performance, analyzing data, and implementing corrective actions • NASA process team construct and interview proces s • The importance and utility of the Project Management Control System (PMCS) • Instilling the help of APL support organizations and their importance to the process • When to seek outside cons ulting support and the roles they can play • Successfully closing out corrective actions and planning for surveillance reviews We hope this paper provide s an informative perspective from a contractor s point of view that will help others navigate a NASA-led EVMS compliance review.
© 2017 IEEE.
Year of Publication2017
JournalIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
Number of Pages
Date Published