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News | April 28, 2023

EVMSC holds annual planning offsite

By Lidia Cabello DCMA PM&BI

Approximately 80 Defense Contract Management Agency employees attended, either in person or virtually, the annual Earned Value Management Center offsite event held last month at the agency’s Fort Gregg-Adams, Va., headquarters.

The event was organized by Donna Holden, EVMS director, and featured guest speakers from DCMA’s Portfolio Management and Business Integration directorate, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Army.

“Attendees participated in a three-day seminar of training, open forum discussions and special guest presentations,” said Holden. “We have 54 new or newly promoted employees in our center and since we are a geographically dispersed center, meeting new was such an intangible benefit, the outcome can almost be felt tangibly. The ability to really ensure we have the right employee, at the right space, at the right time to do the right work scope, and share that information across sub-teams for common understanding by all, was extremely beneficial.”

Holden said initial feedback indicates the event was extremely informative and well executed. “Being able to discuss issues and topics in an open forum format proved to be one of the favorite aspect of attendees.”

In addition to internally necessary DCMA-focused training, workshop events, breakouts and briefings, topics presented by EVMS subject matter experts external to the EVMS center included the following:

  • Russell Rodewald, senior director of EVM at Raytheon Technologies, discussed EVMS perspective of government versus industry, and information on Integrated Program Management Data Analysis Report.
    • “Mr. Rodewald’s theme centered on pointing out that while our teams may be on different sides of the fence — public service versus for-profit-company — many of our data struggles are shared,” said Holden. “He explained Raytheon’s EVMS goal, as related to EVM data, centers on the need to ‘increase customer communication and ensure reporting requirements are aligned to program needs.’”
  • James Winbush, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems’ Logistics Information Systems program within the Army Data and Analytics Platforms portfolio and former DCMA EVMS center director, discussed the functional perspective and shared learned leadership lessons.
    • Winbush’s explained, “Leadership starts and ends with you and your values. It is the foundation that everything is built on … Be your genuine self, know your people and your job, provide purpose, direction, and motivation. Talk less, listen more, and learn more.”
  • Shane Olsen, director of Program Scheduling and Compliance at Northrop Grumman Missions Systems, spoke about the National Defense Industrial Association Electronic Industry Alliance 748 Standard 32 Guidelines expected changes.
    • “The EIA-748 is the industry standard against which EVMS compliance is assessed for all companies required to be compliant to EVM Systems,” explained Holden. “The standard is going through its first major change in 25 years and is expected to be released for comment in fiscal year 2024. The new release will affect how all agencies, services, and industry who use the standard operate in the world of EVMS compliance.”
    • Olsen’s discussion focused around ongoing discussions, in-process status, and possible language edits subject to different interpretations among all stakeholders. His discussion was lively, produced many inquiries as to future direction, and possible outcomes.
  • Ivan Bembers, chief of the National Reconnaissance Office EVM Center of Excellence in the Cost and Acquisition Assessment Group, provided an overview how agile development programs still need the type of program baseline control and ongoing performance measurement that are the backbone of good EVM management.
    • “Throughout the detailed discussion at a tactical level, his take-way from a strategic level was clear,” said Holden. “As agile methods mature, Integrated Program Management stakeholders need to improve messaging that EVM is not an additive requirement to project management, but is intrinsically part of good project management.”
  • Steve Buetow, recently selected PM&BI deputy director, shared his incoming thoughts, provide opening remarks to kick off the week’s workshop, and illustrated his dedication to supporting the EVMS mission while promoting the Agency strategic direction.
    • Buetow explained his perspective since joining PMBI, and asked participants to look at the way business is conducted and “challenge yourself to look at things differently and provide different opportunities for improvement.” He also emphasized the agency’s globally based future, risk-based assessments and the need to make agency-level decisions based on real, useful, accurate, and informational data.

“Events like this help us to train employees, build capacity through employee knowledge, enforce mentoring across the workforce and capitalize on working as a team to help overcome future challenges,” said Holden. “We surveyed our EVMS center participants for most requested topics of interest, focused on learning environments most needed and best able to fit into this workshop environment, and even planned some intermittent fun and games and lunch-time yoga.”

Holden’s team created an after-offsite survey, sent to all employee, and is already looking to improve and generate future events.