How an Earned Valued Management System Helped the Marine Corps Save

The Marine Corps saved $500,000 over two years by improving how they managed their contractors, performance and resources.

Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4)

Headquarters, Marine Corps

Washington, D.C.

C4 oversees information technology for the U.S. Marine Corps.

How C4 Saved: By using an earned value management (EVM) system to define project goals, C4 saved $500,000 over two years while significantly increasing the quality of their products and their efficiency.

Tools Used: Deltek Cobra software for calculating project data, Microsoft Project for scheduling.


To Read more on this topic, see How the Marine Corps Matched Spending to Performance


Time Frame: C4 identified the need for a better way to manage their contractors, performance and resources in 2004. The organization began implementing its EVM system in 2006. The rollout took two years.

Never Stop Improving

Even though the project has been fully rolled out, the team still makes adjustments to better use the EVM system, says Col. Ronald Zich. They are working on defining the best ratio of planned to ad hoc assignments, taking into account flexibility to respond to unforeseen needs. Organizations typically target a rate of 85 percent for dedicated assignments, compared to C4's 92 percent.

All or Nothing

An EVM initiative must be led from the top down or it won't succeed, says Zich. At C4, all the division leaders, high ranking officers and executive leaders could see the benefits EVM would bring and jumped on board, so the implementation went well. "If you have resistance from any of your leaders, it just doesn't work," he says.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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