Sort Windows are used to identify problem areas, to sort elements based on performance, and to filter elements based on user-specified parameters (control account manager, performance, dollar value, data quality indicator (DQI), etc.). The Empower Sort Window provides maximal ease of use for technical managers, without sacrificing the flexibility and power required by more demanding users. Technical managers will appreciate the interactive filtering, single-click sorting, drill-down/drill-up, global views, and global filters. Users who desire more flexibility can build custom views and filters that are stored independently for each user and are available from any client machine. Views can be built using a simple drag-and-drop methodology. Existing views can be imported from Deltek, Inc.’s wInsight® software or they can be built in the Empower View Editor. Filters can be built interactively and saved for reuse, imported from wInsight, or created using the Empower Filter Editor. The Empower Sort Window supports a tree view that maintains the hierarchical relationship of elements during sorting and filtering. This provides a visualization of the control account-to-work package hierarchical relationship that is very useful when performing interactive program reviews and generating narrative analyses. Sort Windows can be exported to Microsoft Excel with perfect formatting, including color codes and trend arrows.
Data quality is one of the most serious challenges facing integrated project management today. Data errors marginalize management’s effective use of the information and negatively impact customer confidence in supplier management systems. Empower contains a powerful analytical engine that examines earned value data, scheduling data, cost and schedule data integration, and estimates-at-complete against a rule-based system, to identify data quality and integration issues. System outputs are designed to support the control account manager ("What are the auditors likely to ask me about?") as well as provide management-by-exception capability for program-level personnel. A DQI column can be added to any view to quickly identify elements that have data quality issues. A detailed DQI report can be generated for each element, which lists all data anomalies by category. DQI information for all elements in a period, or for all periods of any single element, can be easily exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis and reporting.
Control account managers often struggle with providing an integrated cost and schedule assessment when generating narrative analyses. Empower displays the detailed schedule activities for each linked element for quick comparison of the earned value schedule variance, and the actual vs. planned schedule performance. It graphically displays the baseline plan, current plan, percent complete, activity relationships, and critical path. The Gantt grid supports user-defined filters and views and can be sorted on any column.
Empower includes a host of charts and reports that have been optimized to streamline the task of performance measurement analysis and reporting. Charts and reports are clean and intuitive. Charts can be zoomed, expanded, printed, and exported for incorporation into other tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.
Quick access to element-of-cost information is provided at all levels for cumulative, incremental, budget-at-complete, and estimate-at-complete data. Time-phased headcount charts are also available at all levels for quick analysis of staffing needs. Users can easily build custom charts through a simple dialog box interface and quickly export chart data to Microsoft Excel.
The Empower Artificial Intelligence Report provides a clear and concise plain-English interpretation of performance-to-date, which is contrasted with projected performance to evaluate the reasonableness of the estimate-at-complete. Other reports such as the Validity Report and DQI Report have been designed to organize issues by type and/or severity, with the rules that triggered the warning clearly identified. Reports can be exported to a tailored HTML format that imports seamlessly into Microsoft Office.
The generation, collection, and approval of narrative analysis inputs can be one of the most time-consuming, challenging, and stressful tasks associated with meeting performance management deliverables. Easing the burden on technical managers and reducing the cycle time for narrative analysis submissions are key goals of virtually every organization we touch. Narrative input workflow is now directly integrated into the Empower editor for in-place submission, review, and approval or rejection of the narrative. The workflow engine is fully integrated with an email notification system that can be launched manually as required, or be configured to run automatically to match your organization’s business rhythm. Narrative status information can be seamlessly integrated into existing views, providing an integrated environment for a PM/CAM to not only understand the root cause of a variance, but also to effortlessly determine the state of a VAR input (i.e., who has not submitted a VAR, who needs to rewrite a VAR (and why), and which VARs need to be reviewed for approval). Corrective Action collection and tracking is fully integrated with Empower’s workflow engine. Corrective Actions associated with VARs are automatically included in the Format 5 submission.
With Empower, technical managers don’t start with a blank screen when initiating a narrative analysis. Empower provides templates based on specific breaches and provides a unique methodology to pull prior period narrative submissions forward, automatically updating the performance numbers within the text to the new period’s values.
Empower fully supports the collection and processing of internal narrative analyses, as well as those required for the formal Format 5 submission of the IPMR. Both processes include quick identification of out-of-tolerance accounts, powerful cost/schedule analytics to assist in writing the narrative, and a robust editor with built-in workflow management. The workflow features include customizable email templates to support both submitter and approver roles. Email generation is optimized to group all required actions into a single email regardless of whether the manager’s accounts reside in one or more contracts.
Due to reductions in resources, government agencies have moved toward data-driven audits to help assess contractor management systems. With the release of Empower 3.3 at IPMW 2015, Encore was first-to-market with a commercial solution supporting the attributes and tests then contained in the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) EVAS initiative. Since that time, not only has the DCMA EVAS continued to evolve, but the data-driven audit initiative has expanded to other government organizations that use similar but not identical attribute and test criteria. To support this dynamic environment, Empower has been updated to allow the creation of custom test sheets that can be tailored to support the demands of distinct government customers, and allows those test sheets to change dynamically over time. (For example, metrics that are initially entered and tracked manually can be replaced with automated test metrics as more data becomes available; Empower will apply and display the appropriate metric in each period.) Encore Analytics is committed to providing and maintaining standard test sheets compatible with major government procuring agencies; however, Empower provides complete flexibility both to customize the standard test sheets and to develop unique test sheets as required. Empower includes standard reports that display the test results and provides the ability to identify the exact accounts/schedule activities that are failing selected tests via standard filters. Shown above is a sample report displaying the tests and results compared to the goal. Note that some test results are populated manually (asterisk in the "M" column) while others are populated automatically from the underlying data.
With Empower, data-driven audit metrics can be generated for submission to your customer as required, or run on a routine basis to support internal audit/surveillance preparation and documentation.
Empower provides an intuitive multi-window layout that incorporates dropdown menus; toolbars for commonly used functions; a status bar to display user selections; a rich text editor for Format 5 narrative input; resizable windows; and dialog boxes to provide a desktop-like application experience. Selecting an element in the Sort Window automatically updates the open chart and report.
Empower includes complete functionality for database maintenance including: 1) import of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) files; 2) recalculation of the contracts; 3) export of EDI files; 4) generation of the Cost Performance Report (CPR) and Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) outputs; 5) user maintenance (security); and 6) manual data entry. The EDI file import/export functions support the new DoD UN/CEFACT EDI IPMR, as well as structured Microsoft XLSX files, ANSI X12 839, wInsight XML, and wInsight backup (.WSA) files. In addition, Empower adds a new optimized format which leverages the bulk-data capabilities of the underlying databases, providing enormous increases in performance. Empower can be configured to automatically load cost, schedule and work authorization data files from a specified subdirectory or FTP site.
Project management data comes from many sources, including network file systems, databases, and websites. Empower’s Adaptive Touch Reports (ATR) allow site-specific integration with external data sources to display information such as "Who charged and how much?" Empower also provides a quick link to existing eCAM Notebooks hosted on shared drives or websites to provide a single point of entry for key programmatic data.