Earned Value Management System Guidelines


  • GL 1. Define the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). To provide a structured approach for defining and segregating the contracted work scope to support effective management and control of the program.
  • GL 2. Define Program Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS).. To ensure the functional and/or program organizations responsible for accomplishing program work scope are clearly identified.
  • GL 3. Integrate Subsidiary Management Processes. To ensure the contractor establishes an interconnection among the contractor’s enterprise management systems (e.g., accounting, scheduling, estimating, procurement, Manufacturing/Enterprise Resource Planning (M/ERP) System, time card management systems, etc.) into an integrated framework required for effective program management.
  • GL 4. Identify Overhead Management. To ensure the program manager understands who within the company structure is responsible for establishing, approving, managing, controlling, and assigning resources to overhead (indirect costs) budgets.
  • GL 5. Integrate WBS/OBS to Create Control Accounts. To determine responsibility for a specific scope of work and facilitate schedule and cost performance measurement in an Earned Value Management System (EVMS). The intersection of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) establishes the control accounts which are the focal point for work authorization, management, and performance measurement.

Planning, Scheduling and Budgeting

  • GL 6. Scheduling Work. To provide program management with a fully integrated, networked, and time-phased plan that provides visibility into the detailed progress and accomplishment of the milestones and tasks required for execution of the authorized scope of work.
  • GL 7. Identify Products and Milestones for Progress Assessment. To ensure program schedule(s) establish and maintain a relationship between technical achievement and progress statusing and provide objective performance data that accurately reflects the progress of the work.
  • GL 8. Establish the Performance Measurement Baseline. To create a time-phased, resourced plan against which the accomplishment of authorized work is measured. This plan must ensure resources for accomplishing the work are time-phased consistent with the planned work scope for all authorized work. This time-phased relationship between authorized work, time, and resources is referred to as the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB).
  • GL 9. Authorize and Budget by Cost Elements. To ensure resources, by element of cost, are identified and budgeted for all authorized work.
  • GL 10. Determine Discrete Work and Objective Measures. To ensure control account work scope is partitioned into executable and measurable segments of work that are accomplished within the authorized control account period of performance (POP).
  • GL 11. Sum Work Package (WP) and Planning Package (PP) Budgets to the Control Account Budget. To maintain the integrity of the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB), the budgets of the work packages and planning packages shall sum to the associated control account’s authorized Budget at Completion (BAC).
  • GL 12. Level of Effort Planning and Control. To ensure Level of effort (LOE) is limited only to those activities that should not or cannot be discretely planned. Classification of work scope as LOE is limited to activities that have no practicable, measurable output or product associated with technical effort that can be discretely planned and objectively measured at the work package level.
  • GL 13. Establish Overhead Budgets. To ensure indirect budgets (e.g., Overhead, General & Administrative, and Cost of Money) are established and included in the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) at the appropriate level for visibility.
  • GL 14. Identify Management Reserves (MR) and Undistributed Budget (UB). To ensure the budgets established for Management Reserve (MR) and Undistributed Budget (UB) are separately identified and controlled.
  • GL 15. Reconcile to Target Costs. The program’s Negotiated Contract Cost (NCC) plus Authorized Unpriced Work (AUW) must reconcile with the Contract Budget Base (CBB)/Total Allocated Budget (TAB).

Accounting Considerations

  • GL 16. Record Direct Costs. To ensure that the direct costs expended to accomplish a specific, budgeted scope of work are appropriately collected and recorded as required by the contractor’s accounting procedures.
  • GL 17. Summarize Direct Costs by WBS Elements. To ensure the direct costs reported and analyzed at higher levels of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) only reflect the costs associated with accomplishing the scope of work.
  • GL 18. Summarize Direct Costs by OBS Elements. To ensure the direct costs reported and analyzed at higher levels of the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) only reflect the costs associated with the authorized resources to accomplish work.
  • GL 19. Record/Allocate Indirect Costs. To ensure all indirect costs are properly and correctly allocated in a consistent manner to the contract(s) that apply and at the level where overhead budgets are established.
  • GL 20. Identify Unit and Lot Costs. To ensure contractor accounting systems are capable of determining the unit or lot costs of items developed or produced. This is done for cost reporting purposes and to provide visibility into the factors driving program cost growth.
  • GL 21. Track and Report Material Costs/Quantities. To ensure material costs are accurately collected from the accounting system and transferred to the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) in order to compare those costs with corresponding budgets and completed work. To ensure reliable performance measurement suitable to the material category. To ensure all material items purchased for the contract are accounted for through contract completion and final disposition.

Analysis and Management Reports

  • GL 22. Calculate Schedule Variance and Cost Variance. To ensure accurate cost and schedule performance data is available. This ensures program management has timely, accurate, reliable, and auditable data to make assessments of program progress and the impacts of the technical, schedule and cost deviations from the baseline.
  • GL 23. Analyze Significant Variances. To identify and analyze significant cost and schedule variances in order to determine the primary factors driving performance. This will facilitate program management’s ability to forecast future cost and schedule performance as well as develop corrective action plans intended to regain program objectives.
  • GL 24. Analyze Indirect Cost Variances. To ensure indirect cost variances are regularly identified and reviewed for insight into their impact on overall program cost performance. This will facilitate program management’s ability to forecast future indirect cost performance as well as develop corrective action plans intended to regain program objectives.
  • GL 25. Summarize Performance Data and Variances for Management Reporting. To ensure that program performance status can be accurately summarized from the control account (at a minimum) through the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) for program management insight and control as well as to meet customer reporting requirements.
  • GL 26. Implement Corrective Actions. To ensure all levels of program management are reviewing performance measurement data, implementing corrective action plans, and using the information for decision-making purposes.
  • GL 27. Maintain Estimate at Completion. To ensure estimates of the cost to complete the remaining requirements on a program are periodically reassessed. A most likely estimate of the total cost for completing all authorized program work is maintained and reflects future impacts and risks/opportunities not yet captured in performance. Estimates to Complete (ETCs) remaining work are time-phased in accordance with the expected completion dates and support funding requirements.

Revisions and Data Maintenance

  • GL 28. Incorporate Changes in a Timely Manner. To ensure authorized changes are accurately incorporated into the Contract Budget Base (CBB) and program schedule in a timely and systematic manner. Implementing a disciplined change control process assures that the CBB (Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) + Management Reserve (MR)) is up to date and that performance measurement data reflects all authorized work scope.
  • GL 29. Maintain Baseline and Reconcile Budgets. To ensure the ongoing integrity of the Contract Budget Base (CBB), budget traceability throughout the lifecycle of a program must be maintained. Current budgets must reconcile to prior budgets in terms of changes to work scope, resources, schedule, and rates so that the impact of contract changes and internal replanning on overall program growth is visible to all stakeholders.
  • GL 30. Control Retroactive Changes. To ensure retroactive changes to previously reported data are limited in order to maintain the credibility of using data to project future cost and schedule performance. The changes should be limited to routine accounting adjustments, definitization of customer-approved contract actions, rate changes, economic price adjustments, or correction of errors.
  • GL 31. Prevent Unauthorized Revisions. To prevent the incorporation of unauthorized revisions into the Contract Budget Base (CBB).
  • GL 32. Document PMB Changes. To ensure changes to the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) are transparent to program stakeholders and are documented throughout internally and externally affected systems and reports.