Magazine article National Defense

NDIA History Snapshots: A Look Back at the History of the Association as It Celebrates Its Centennial Year

Magazine article National Defense

NDIA History Snapshots: A Look Back at the History of the Association as It Celebrates Its Centennial Year

Article excerpt

In combat, a successful outcome is the direct result of the hard work and determination of those who transform objectives into action.

The inner workings of the National Defense Industrial Association are no different. With each conference, division meeting, working group meeting and issue of the National Defense magazine, the association aims to create a meaningful dialogue among all of its audiences. But what goes on behind the scenes? Where does it start to identify goals that later become actionable?

Integrated Program Management is one of NDIA's most active divisions, but it took years for it to become the force it is today.

Starting in the 1970s as the Management Systems Subcommittee under the Procurement Division of the National Security Industrial Association, it notably worked to help define the Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria (C/SCSC). These criteria helped guide companies in establishing and maintaining a set of best practices for program performance implementation and application. Included was an additional performance measurement aspect entitled "earned value." The objective of earned value management is to help the program management community use facts and data to make proactive decisions so project objectives are met.

In 1997, NSIA and the American Defense Preparedness Association merged to form NDIA. Soon after, the subcommittee changed its name to the Program Management Systems Committee and in 1998, C/SCSC became known as the Earned Value Management Systems Criteria. "Criteria" was then changed to "guidelines" to present a more flexible set of management system characteristics.

Shortly after, the first standard for Earned Value Management Systems was published as the American National Standard Institute 748 with the support of the Electronic Industries Alliance. With a formal industry standard, the committee continued to be the subject matter expert to ensure its relevancy and appropriate application of what is now called the EI A Standard 748.

Over the years, the standard became important to help industry keep contracts and get new business. Collaborating with the Defense Department, NASA, Department of Energy and many others, the Program Management Systems Committee became more influential and focused on the use of the EIA Standard 748, the impact on industry, government users and the changes required to maintain it.

This led to ensuring both industry and government were involved in crafting the requirements for the standard. The Defense Department agreed, and in a series of meetings, representatives from industry and government collaborated on these new requirements. Streamlining the process for reporting was key.

As a result, in July 2012, the department published a new Data Item Description for the Integrated Program Management Report, which defined the agreed-upon Earned Value Management reporting requirements. …

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