Managing and tracking baseline changes is a common issue for project managers and project control personnel. Change control is one of those process areas that requires some effort to maintain a basic level of project control discipline and data traceability. Ideally, the change control process isn’t overly restrictive. Case in point: a client that required project personnel to process a baseline change request to correct typos in work package descriptions. When the process is too painful, project personnel avoid making needed changes resulting in schedule and cost data that doesn’t reflect the project’s current state. Hopefully, your change control process has established a reasonable level for what triggers a baseline change request.
Even with the best change control process in place, earned value management (EVM) software tools are often inadequate to support the process or over complicate things that make it hard to maintain historical traceability. The functionality is limited or requires confusing change tracking numbers and dialog boxes that update summary project level budget values behind the scenes with zero user control.
In some cases, the vendor’s solution requires the purchase of add-on change control workflow software further complicating things even more – with a higher cost of ownership. There is a constant battle to manage data in two different tools. It takes extra effort to verify and maintain a level of data traceability. The means to document the reason for the change and impact to other activities is divorced from the source schedule and cost data. Has the work authorization also been updated? Do all the artifacts with the scope of work, period of performance, and allocated budget match? Is it traceable to the time phased data and detailed transactions? How do you know?
Combine your change control process with ProjStream’s tools, BOEMax and MaxTeam. BOEMax and MaxTeam were designed with built-in workflow and data-backed automated forms to help project control personnel manage and simplify the change control process. The tools share the built-in workflow process to manage changes from contract award to closeout.
How can your project control teams use these tools to support and simplify the change control process?
Once the workflow roles and routing rules are defined, the project control team can switch on the workflow functions, initiate the contract budget base log, and automatically begin tracking changes. With a master copy of the budget baseline data in BOEMax estimate software, the team has the foundation to accurately maintain a historical record of all baseline changes from the start. The team simply copies the BOEMax project with the time phased budget data into MaxTeam earned value analysis software to quickly establish the performance measurement baseline (PMB).
The project control team has a complete audit trail of all budget baseline changes and can trace who did what to the data for full transparency. They can substantiate all baseline changes because the rationale is captured with the time phased cost data. The forms, contract budget base log, and time phased data all tell the same story because the entire set of source data is in one database. Even better, they can provide a complete set of data-backed forms and contract budget base log to the customer or DCMA. Why does this matter? Data traceability and substantiation for baseline changes are just some of the things DCMA checks for as part of their compliance reviews and routine surveillance.
Call or schedule a demo today to see how the BOEMax basis of estimate software and MaxTeam earned value management tools can make it so much easier to manage budget baseline changes.
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