The Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) is, without question, one of the most important events in the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) implementation calendar. IBRs typically occur between 90 and 180 days after contract award. This short timescale often presents many challenges in getting ready for a rigorous review process. Getting the baseline in place, performing several updates and having the entire project materials ready in a compressed time frame can be overwhelming.
Having PCSS on your team with a staff of personnel who have successfully helped many companies though IBRs and helped government agencies to conduct IBRs, is an invaluable resource to have when facing such an event. Additionally, in the event that you’ve recently had an IBR conducted, had Discrepancy Reports (DR) generated and need to get an effective Corrective Action Plan (CAP) developed and implemented, the PCSS staff has the experience to aid you in accomplishing that.
As with all things, preparation is the key. A number of documents are reviewed during the IBR that need to be consistent with each other. An IBR is an event focused on the contractor’s ability to exhibit a thorough understanding of contract requirements. It involves being able to demonstrate that all requirements have been incorporated into the cost, schedule and technical requirement baselines being executed, evaluating the integrity of your overall Management system (with particular emphasis on your configuration management system) and equally, determining the depth of understanding your Control Account Managers (CAM’s) have for the process. For example, CAM’s need to,
- Understand and articulate the scope of their Control Account
- Articulate the rationale of how their cost, schedule and technical approach addresses the contract’s Statement of Work (SOW) requirements
- Understand and articulate the risks and assumptions used for their Control Account
- Be able to demonstrate how their scope and schedule are integrated within their Control Accounts and with other Control Accounts
- Understand the business processes in place to manage the work
- Articulate the use of Earned Value to manage their Control Accounts
- Demonstrate ownership of scope, schedule and cost
CAM Notebooks support this process and would typically include,
- Project Organization chart
- WBS and dictionary – including WBS to SOW mapping
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix
- Work Authorizations
- Variance Analyses
- Risk Reporting
How PCSS Can Help With Your Integrated Baseline Review (IBR)?
PCSS leverages a proven, structured approach to executing an IBR that takes your organization through a deliberate process to achieve a successful IBR. Our 5-Step IBR Process takes your program from contract award through IBR Action Item closure. The structured approach ensures you are executing all that needs to be done for this vital review in a way that is clear and intuitive to everyone involved.
IBR Prep & Training
Like all endeavors, an IBRs success is dependent on the planning that goes into its execution. PCSS will help your organization verify that the necessary contractual language is in place, to ensure the needed documentation is available for later steps and help you understand the context for the IBR. This includes helping identify the proper resources that should participate, developing an IBR Agenda agreeable to all parties and assistance in the development of the IBR Presentation Package. Finally, your team will participate in Ten Six’s IBR Training that establishes the competencies needed for successfully executing an IBR.
Program Artifact Review
Before you can review the data, you have to ensure the data is right. This includes reviewing program artifacts to ensure they are in sync, consistent and complete. In addition to industry standard reviews of things like the IMS and Earned Value Reports, the PCSS process builds a data map of the different artifacts that allows quick identification of gaps in compliance, inconsistent data reporting across artifacts and potential risk hot spots within a program.
Performance Management Baseline Review
Once you understand the context of the IBR and are assured the data you will be reviewing is complete and qualified, it is time to open the hood and really dive into the core of the program baseline. This step is focused on quantifying the data, discovering potential gaps in the planning, developing the Cost, Schedule, Technical and Risk story for each control account. Whether you are the organization who’s PMB is being reviewed or the organization doing the review, this step is the heart of the IBR. PCSS will take your team through Mock CAM interviews to either prepare your CAM’s for the questions they can expect or prepare your Technical Leads for what questions to ask to get the most value out of the meeting. Coming out of this step your team will be fully prepared to have a successful IBR.
This is where experience trumps process. Keeping the IBR on track and focused on value add conversations can be difficult and you need someone who has been there and done that. PCSS brings a wealth of program experience to bear for the execution of your IBR. PCSS will support you through the IBR meeting either as the facilitator directing the CAM interviews or as support to your team that is being reviewed; always with an eye towards making the meeting value add for all stakeholders.
Post IBR Assessment and Action Item Closure
PCSS will deliver an IBR After Action Report that captures the processes used, the meeting proceedings and the findings coming out of the IBR. This report not only provides value as a summary of the IBR meeting but also provides evidence of the successful IBR, which can be given to third party programs such as GAO should they request it at a future date. If your organization is the owner of the PMB, PCSS will assist your team in developing plans to close Corrective Action Reports and Action Items and will assist both organizations in tracking the completion of Action Items and CARs coming out of the IBR.
Even before contract award, a review of contract language around the IBR gives context to the review and can ensure the needed documentation is available for the later steps. This is particularly important if your organization is the one doing the review of your contractor or subcontractor.
Identifying who should participate in the IBR is key to its success. The IBR is not a Business Management meeting and the attendees should pull from the principle stakeholders through the technical leads.
In the end an IBR is supposed to be a collaborative review to verify and affirm a program’s performance management baseline in a way that supports all stakeholders’ goals of delivering the required scope on time and on budget. Being successful in conducting a value add IBR puts your program on solid footing to achieve those goals and is too important to everyone involved to trust to ad hoc support from “experts”. What your program needs is a disciplined, proven process that ensures success. The PCSS 5-Step IBR Process is that process.