3.1.4 Control Account Level. To provide the responsible
contract manager with technical, schedule, and other needed resource
information, the management control system must be keyed to the same WBS
element and organizational unit. The WBS level at which the management control
system is established is primarily a function of the magnitude of the program
and the type of product required by the contract. The responsible
organizational level is a function of the company’s management span of control
and upper management's desire to delegate the responsibility for WBS elements
to lower management levels. In identifying control accounts, the
contractor is expected to establish organizational responsibilities at
meaningful and appropriate levels. Otherwise, the contractor's existing
management control systems and responsibility assignments may be affected
Virtually all aspects of the contractor's management control system (i.e.
technical definition, budgets, estimates, schedules, risk management, work
assignments, accounting, progress assessment, problem identification, and
corrective actions) come together at the control account level. Performance
visibility is directly relatable to this level of detail.
As the end product is subdivided into smaller subproducts at lower WBS
levels, the work effort required by each element can be identified and
assigned to functional organizational units. The contractor will assign
management responsibility for technical, schedule, and other performance
criteria at lower levels within the WBS. The management control system will
keep the lower levels of the WBS visible as it interfaces with the
organization. At the juncture of the WBS element and organization unit,
control accounts are established and performance is planned, measured,
recorded, and controlled. To this end, the technical requirements for the work
and work product must be specified; the work scheduled, budgeted, and
performed; and attainment of specified technical requirements verified.
As Figure 3-3 illustrates, at some level in a contractor’s organization
there is the point at which a control account is managed. Likewise, in any WBS
the same point exists. Therefore, every part of a WBS is visible or accessible
regardless of the contractor’s organization.
For example, the management information needed by the Government to manage
the development of a radar receiver is available from the control accounts
that are part of that effort’s WBS. The information the contractor needs to
manage the development is available from the same control accounts, which in
this example are a part of the contractor’s Electrical Design Department.
Figure 3-4 illustrates the same example but uses an Integrated
Product Team (IPT)structured organization and its interface with the