Jan. 10 was the 10th anniversary of FRA Earned Value Management System certification. Obtaining EVMS certification a decade ago was a significant event because DOE had at that time established that projects that cost $50 million or more are required to use a certified system. Imagine how different our laboratory would be if we did not have EVMS certification. This certification has enabled a broad suite of projects that have shaped the current landscape here at Fermilab, including NOvA, LBNF/DUNE, PIP-II, Muon g-2, Mu2e, CMS Upgrade Phase 1, SLI-UUP, IERC, HL-LHC CMS and the Accelerator Upgrade Project. Further, the ability of maintaining this certification will continue to influence our science, project and research opportunities.
What is EVMS, and why is it so important? Earned-value management is a method of taking objective measurements of project progress that incorporates schedule, cost and scope of the work. The system lays out criteria that project managers can use to plan their projects and check their performance.
Projects that cost $5 million and more are required to follow Department of Energy Order 413.3B and need a performance measurement process. EVMS certification validates that proper methodology, and the practices are part of the laboratory’s project culture for planning, monitoring, controlling and closing projects over $50 million. DOE also requires these same principles and practices to be applied for projects between $5 million and $50 million.
In January 2008, Dean Hoffer, then head of Fermilab Office of Project Management and Oversight, started formulating how Fermilab would go about establishing the FRA EVMS and get it certified. A core team was established to do all the work. An Oversight Committee was also organized to give progress updates and guidance on critical decisions.
Key EVMS Project personnel
The EVMS Project started in April 2008 with the first meeting of the core team. Over the next several months the team developed the FRA EVMS Description Document and the Implementing Procedures. The NOvA Project was the first project to use the FRA EVMS. From May 11-15, 2009, the FRA EVMS was reviewed by DOE Office of Engineering and Consultation Management and then was certified on Jan. 10, 2010.
We owe a lot to these early EVMS pioneers, and we look forward to continuing in their excellent EVMS footsteps in the future.
Richard Marcum is the head of the Fermilab Office of Project Support Services.