SNA Software’s Fall/Winter 2016 E-Newsletter is Now Available

January 6, 2017

Execution of Our Vision. The year 2016 has been both a successful and trailblazing one for the SNA Software team and its customers. Most importantly, it has been a year where we have executed our vision for the way that technology can enhance the project and program management discipline.  This vision consists of three primary elements.

Analytics and Integration Focused on Data. In the past, industry and government was focused on "tools" as a means of achieving insight into project performance. These tool applications mimicked the division of labor and specialty that had existed when manual effort was the only way to derive importance when transforming data into intelligence. But over the last 30 years our ability to leverage and transform information has grown exponentially, and with it the sources of that information. This exponential growth has led us to see that a systems approach is needed to derive importance from our information. There are superior methods and sources of data that provide us a more credible means of determining what we have achieved to date and how to successfully complete our efforts. By focusing on data to provide reliable predictive analytics, SNA has been able to transcend the silo approach to data constrained within earned value, schedule, risk, financial management, and contract management swim lanes. Our solutions provide a truly integrated set of indicators, tied at the appropriate level of detail, that clearly illuminate the interrelationships within the contract and project systems so that the source of risk can be assessed and handled. We provide this capability through our Proteus Envision and EnvisionData set of solutions.

System Assessment and Surveillance. By focusing on data we are then able to apply a set of tests to determine the internal consistency and reliability of the systems of record that underlie our metrics and predictive analytics. At the 2015 Integrated Program Management Workshop (IPMW), the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) demonstrated the proof-of-concept solution based on SNA's technology and code known as the Earned Value Assessment and Surveillance (EVAS) system. In 2016 SNA once again proved that it is the state of the art with the greatest value, going beyond EVM analysis and high level schedule alignment. SNA solutions achieve this by providing a means of extending the UN/CEFACT XML Format 7 IPMR schema combined with the schema's Format 6 (schedule) file to gain insight into data element interrelationships. The conversion technology to achieve this integration is currently in use by our customers in the Aerospace & Defense industry, giving them the competitive edge in data submission, compliance, and proactive self-assessment. Combined with the analytical solutions we have designed in Proteus Envision and EnvisionData, our system assessment and surveillance application workspaces provide our customers with a set of adaptable solutions that save time and money, and will do so for many years to come.

Schedule-based Earned Value Management. In October of this year the SNA Software team released the first version of EnvisionData. Our approach here, as with analytics and EVAS, is to take a systemic approach to project management, transcending the limitations of earned value "engines" or ad hoc financial management systems customized from scratch where our competitors learn on your dime. Project management begins with contract management, which is further refined into the establishment of the project or projects, with a need to align with planning and scheduling, track resource allocation, and provide a user-friendly means of recording status, and planning changes and adjustments to the PMB, all the while maintaining traceability. SNA solutions provide a complete means of tracking resources--eschewing bolt-ons and workarounds--to track resource allocation from the Total Allocated Budget (TAB) down through the layers of the project to the work package and planning package level. Combined with a robust rate set structure and engine, all built on .NET and SQL, EnvisionData scales to the largest datasets while maintaining system performance. Furthermore, and more significantly, the first version of this solution is built to leverage Oracle Primavera P6 planning and scheduling data, augmenting P6 as the planning repository of record, while extending its capabilities to be fully EIA-748 compliant. The solution will also leverage Microsoft Project and systems without an EVM requirement, but that can benefit from project discipline. By taking a holistic approach to the system of contract and project management, the solution, combined with Proteus Envision and EnvisionData, analytics and assessment at the contract and project portfolio management levels are made easy, eliminating the need for external systems that require special data transfer and manual effort.

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