As government contractors, our credibility with our clients and in the market is a reflection of our ability to deliver high quality services and solutions. A key component in this area is effectively managing program and project financials, i.e., being good stewards of our government’s money and our company’s resources. With the current competitive, budgetary, and regulatory environment driving complexity, it is more important now than ever for companies to invest in their financial systems, including people, processes, and technologies.
At LMI, we have taken a proactive approach of transforming our business in order to meet market demands. Over the past 2 years, areas of emphasis in this journey have included the development of a Program Financial Management department (Project Control) and the implementation of key technologies to support our financial data model.
Project control is the function that supports project teams in financial management and administration. The scope of this function contains a strategic focus which includes financial budgeting and planning, business advisory, and reporting and analysis; as well as a tactical effort in the areas of cost control, administration of subcontractor costs and billing, and project set-up and coordination.
A mature project control function acts as a service to our clients and project management teams with the focus on ensuring the delivery of accurate, reliable, and relevant financial information and insights. For one of our largest programs, our Project Control team has been instrumental in performing analysis and providing business advice to our clients in the areas of funding allocation and spend management.
Our Project Control team works very closely with our clients to develop short- and long-term forecast scenarios of resource needs to support the scope of the program and the changing landscape in requirements. In turn these scenarios are used for strategic and tactical decision making and enable our clients and the organizations we support to best leverage the available resources.
We approved developing a project control function from the perspective of 1) human capital, 2) processes and procedures, and 3) technologies.
- Ensure alignment up to the executive level in regards to the objectives and structure of the Program Financial Management department.
- Design of a project control delivery model that meets the company’s and program’s requirements; different approaches can be taken:
- Help Desk Approach: A centralized team of project control professionals with service-level agreements for providing project financial management,
- Dedicated Support Approach: Project control professionals are dedicated to individual clients or programs, and
- Hybrid Approach: Large programs have dedicated project control professionals and smaller projects are supported by a centralized Help Desk.
Processes and Procedures
- Rhythm and Focus of Financial Reporting and Analysis: Determine key performance indicators and data points and how often they must be reported.
- Financial Budgeting and Forecasting: Develop a consistent process that creates visibility into the program’s financial outlook.
- Financial Administration: Provide a service to clients and project management teams to reduce the burden of these tasks on key stakeholders
Organizations must focus on having the right data readily available to enable project control. To this point, as LMI moved its data to the cloud, we focused on integrating different systems to bring more power and insight to our data. We have developed a data warehouse that combines information from our accounting, contracts, and pipeline management systems, providing us with a powerful vehicle for viewing our projects, programs, and business from cradle to grave.
If you would like more information about how LMI implemented our program financial management practice and business intelligence data warehouse, please sign up for our sessions at the upcoming Deltek Insight conference.
- Customer Spotlight: Best Practices for Developing a Project Financial Management Practice, Wednesday, October 25, 9:50 a.m.
- Customer Spotlight: I Got Data in the Cloud. Now What? Wednesday, October 25, 4:00 p.m.
Mr. McNabb came to LMI from SRA International, where he was project manager for back office process improvement initiatives and system upgrades. Jim also provided general support for such systems as Costpoint, Time Collection, Concur T&E, and OnBase/Hyland. Jim has a BA in business administration and management from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MS in information technology management from George Washington University. He also holds PMP and CSM certifications.