NDi Supports OMB Capital Investment Program using Earned Value Management (EVM)


Aviation growth and technology changes have driven fundamental shifts in FAA’s Office of Aviation Safety (AVS) business processes initiating the need for enterprise-wide next generation technology solutions.  A modernization of the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure addressed capability and service shortfalls designed to:

  • Minimize likelihood of disruptions to operations and loss of critical safety data used by the AVS safety workforce;
  • Ensure proactive analysis of critical AVS safety data through standardization of software and services; and
  • Enable efficient utilization of technology resources through proactive lifecycle management and maintenance of IT infrastructure components.

The Regulation and Certification Infrastructure for System Safety (RCISS) investment was initiated to enhance and improve legacy infrastructure shortfalls by providing:

  • Mobility tools for the safety workforce
  • Secure and reliable transmission of safety data
  •  Scalable and efficient infrastructure services
  •  Hosting of safety applications and real-time availability of safety data

Capabilities and services provided to the FAA Safety Workforce through RCISS include:

Safety Workforce Devices: tablets, laptops, personal computers (PCs), monitors, docking stations

Communications:  wired and wireless telecommunication services

Enterprise Services: cloud services, service oriented architectures, disaster recovery

Application Data Servers: data center services for safety applications and safety related data

COTS Software: non-developmental COTS software that
supports the aviation safety mission

Contractor Support:  to augment government staff to maintain and support IT infrastructure

The Challenge

The FAA RCISS program needed a strong portfolio management approach to ensure objectives and performance goals were met with expected results and to help define and measure useful performance metrics within multiple projects, and ensure compliance with important acquisition regulations for OMB major investments. Standard program management best practices were not enough. They needed to proactively interface with various departments and organizations both within and external to the FAA and orchestrate the technology modernization to meet the demands of a fast- changing aviation safety workforce.

Our Approach

NDi follows an integrated project management (IPM) approach to manage program activities and involve relevant stakeholders established through a set of standard processes and procedures essential to the planning, monitoring, reporting and control of the RCISS program. NDi assembled a team of senior project managers, earned value specialists, financial analysts, master schedulers and implemented top industry tools to form an effective Program Management Office to ensure objectives and performance goals are met with expected results.

Working closely with the client, NDi developed and implemented an Earned Value Management (EVM) System to integrate project scope, schedule, and resources to continually measure performance metrics that enable the program to anticipate, forecast, and communicate performance. The EVM System also measures progress towards milestones in an independently verifiable basis and is used to manage the performance of all program activities.   RCISS reported Earned Value (EVM) metrics to the public Federal IT Dashboard on a monthly basis and successfully maintained cost and schedule variances within performance thresholds of 5% of the program baseline.  

NDi continues to assist the FAA in navigating the complex acquisition regulations associated with a capital investment program.   NDi has integrated specialized financial and project planning tools into the FAA environment that communicate with our EVM System and enable the team to more efficiently and accurately manage the financials across the program.   This integration of multiple functions and systems allows the team to quickly and accurately respond to adhoc data calls and financial reporting as requested by the client.

The Results

Using Earned Value Management principles and techniques to track and measure program performance has allowed NDi to successfully manage project budgets and timelines within the allotted cost/schedule variance thresholds established in FAA guidelines and procedures.   RCISS has consistently met its performance goals of managing cost and schedule variances within 5% of the baseline to ensure that the program is operating efficiently and benefits are continually realized.  The program variance information provides the basis in measuring program implementation effectiveness against cost and schedule baselines. This has allowed the program team to identify and mitigate risks early on to assure successful performance in maintaining cost and schedule variances within agency specified thresholds.

The program’s robust EVM System has allowed NDi to leverage historical, current and future planning data elements to develop a successful business case resulting in receiving investment approvals for a funding requests or $163M over 5-years from the FAA’s Joint Resources Council.   NDi’s contribution and development of the cost model to support the business case earned praise from the FAA Office of Investment Planning and Analysis for our comprehensive cost modeling.

NDi’s approach to manage the RCISS program incorporates risk, value, and constraints in a way that provides FAA leadership with the visibility and confidence to make difficult decisions.  These decisions have shaped the future of the infrastructure that supports the AVS organization and has proven to be one of the most successful programs in the organization’s investment portfolio.   NDi has supported the RCISS program since 2011 and continues to be the team that the FAA relies on to assist and augment the government staff in managing the day to day operations and long-term goals of the program.