OMB working with agencies on EVM as deadline nears

The Office of Management and Budget continues to work with federal agencies as they face a crucial deadline next month for implementing earned-value management principles for their major IT investments, an OMB official said.

Stacie Boyd, policy analyst in OMB's E-Government and IT division, said yesterday that although some agencies are struggling to meet the upcoming March 31 deadline to begin independently verifying and validating the cost, schedule and performance baselines for all ongoing major IT projects, OMB is confident that the government has made great strides in adopting EVM and the end result will be a transformation in how agencies manage contracts.

'We're working with all the agencies,' Boyd said at a conference sponsored by the Digital Government Institute of Bethesda, Md. 'We have agencies that are well on their way' to meeting the March deadline.

EVM, a project management tool used by the Defense Department for years, lets project managers track money spent on a project almost in real time and measures that expense against timelines and deadlines.

OMB has been pushing civilian agencies to use EVM since last August when it issued a memo requiring agencies to develop an EVM model for major IT projects by the end of last year.

The memo also directed agencies to begin performing independent reviews that validate and verify for reasonableness the current cost, schedule and performance baselines for ongoing major IT projects by March 31.

Boyd said 32 percent of all government agencies fully complied with the August memo, while 56 percent partially met the goal. Only 12 percent, according to Boyd, are still trying to put together an EVM plan.

The forecast may not be so positive for the March 31 deadline, though, as Boyd said reaching that milestone for baseline reviews requires hard work and commitment.

'Agencies are continuing to adopt this,' she said, adding that 'a lot of progress has been made over the last year.'

Indeed, the latest version of the e-government portion of the President's Management Agenda scorecard showed dramatic improvement in agency compliance with the administration's e-government goals.


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