Actual Start Dates

“History makes my mouth water - and that is as much because of the voids in what documentation remains as what is set in stone.”

- Sara Sheridan

In this check, DCMA assumes that the EV (earned value) percent complete is recorded somewhere. It’s a reasonable assumption because DCMA spends a great deal of time, money, and energy to ensure that compliance with contractual requirements related to EVM is being met. For those unfamiliar with earned value, the EV percent complete is a fraction representing the amount of an activity that has been completed for earned value purposes. It’s the amount of progress that should be used in EV calculations.

Imagine this conversation about a specific task:

Me: How much progress are you recording for earned value?

Scheduler: 25%.

Me: Excellent. And when was the actual start date?

Scheduler: It hasn’t started yet.

The purpose of this check is to ensure that activities that have an earned value percent complete that is greater than zero also have an actual start date. DCMA’s threshold for this check is 5%, meaning they will flag this metric if more than 5% of the activities fail this check.

If the EV percent complete isn’t recorded in the schedule, it should be retrieved from the cost or earned value tool. For activities that fail this check, DCMA will want to know the correct values for the EV percent complete and the actual start date.

Next steps

For tasks that are flagged in this test, it should be pretty clear that one of the values (EV percent complete or actual start) is not correct. With each task that was flagged, learn which value is incorrect (if not both) and correct the discrepancy.

14 Point Analyzer