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U.S. Department of Defense Updates Earned Value Management Systems Requirements for Federal Contractors

New Regulations Based on an American National Standard

New York, May 21, 2008

Earned value management (EVM), a project management technique used for objectively measuring a project’s progress, is an essential element of program management and procurement within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Contractors working with the DOD are required to establish and maintain EVM systems. In an effort to guide contractors through the EVM system process, the DOD recently adopted an American National Standard that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), the method personnel are to follow when processing the government’s procurement of goods and services.

ANSI/EIA-748: Earned Value Management Systems, developed by the Government Electronics & Information Technology Association (GEIA), will ensure that contractors adhere to DOD EVM system requirements. GEIA is a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is an ANSI-accredited standards developer.

ANSI/EIA-748 incorporates best practices for program or project planning and control. The standard outlines processes including:

  • integration of program scope;
  • schedule and cost objectives;
  • establishment of a baseline plan for accomplishment of program objectives; and
  • use of earned value techniques for performance measurement during the execution of a program.

The document also provides a basis for problem identification, corrective actions, and management re-planning. Further details can be found in ANSI/EIA-748-B: Earned Value Management Systems, which contains EVM system guidelines, common terminology, process discussion, and documentation and evaluation sections that provide application and implementation information.

The DOD is not the only agency to recognize the value of voluntary consensus standards for EVM systems. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have also adopted ANSI/EIA-748 to manage their acquisition programs.

For more information, view DOD’s final rule in the April 23, 2008, edition of the Federal Register.

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