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Root Cause Analysis (RCA) & Corrective Action Plan (CAP)

Improving the Department of Energy's project and contract management continues to be one of the Department's management priorities. Excellence in this area helps ensure that DOE's programs and projects meet DOE's strategic objectives, provide value to the American taxpayer, and foster public confidence in DOE's ability to manage its responsibilities.

As part of our effort to build a strong project and contract management foundation, a root cause analysis (RCA) was developed through extensive collaboration between DOE's Headquarters and field project, contract, and financial management professionals, and in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget and the Government Accountability Office. The Root Cause Analysis identified the key elements necessary to make the meaningful changes required to consistently deliver projects within cost and schedule performance parameters; disciplined upfront planning; realistic estimates of cost and schedule; and straight forward communication between the project director and senior management.

In addition, the team developed a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to ensure that DOE's efforts to improve will be focused on addressing the root causes with meaningful and lasting solutions, ensure senior leadership ownership, and provide demonstrable results.

The Department remains strongly committed to real and tangible improvement in DOE's project and contract performance. Your commitment to pursue these initiatives and actions will help to resolve the contract and project management issues and root causes which have challenged DOE for years. Everyone's personal commitment and the active participation of headquarters and field organizations are critical to our success.

Contract and Project Management Improvement (CPMI) Documents

CPMI Closure Report (PDF), April 2012 - The CPMI Closure Report presents the status of the Department’s initiatives to address six
issues identified at the December 2010 DOE Contract and Project Management Summit,

RCA & CAP Documents

RCA/CAP Closure Report 2011 - This RCA/CAP Closure Report presents a status of the Department’s initiatives to address the most significant issues and their corresponding root causes and officially closes out most of the issues and root causes

Root Cause Analysis Report (RCA) 2008 - The Root Cause Analysis report identifies the key elements necessary to make the meaningful changes required to consistently deliver projects within cost and schedule performance parameters.

Corrective Action Plan (CAP) 2008 - The Root Cause Analysis Corrective Action Plan ensures that the root causes identified in the Root Cause Analysis report (above) are addressed with meaningful and lasting solutions in order to improve contract and project management performance.

Overall Contract and Project Management Improvement Performance Metrics and Targets:

Corrective Measures

Corrective Measure #1
Establish and implement measures to ensure adequate project requirements definition is accomplished before a project performance baseline is established. This would include defining planning benchmarks, ensuring adequate resource allocation, and conducting third-party reviews prior to project approval, additional funding authorization, and project execution.

Corrective Measure #2
Develop and implement a comprehensive staffing plan, with an associated resource plan, to recruit, develop, and retain the optimum contract and project management federal workforce.

  • DOE G 413.3-19, Staffing Guide and staffing model
  • OMC Spreadsheet
  • CM2 RCA CAP Staffing Study Report (July 2009). This Report summarizes the analysis of federal staffing on current projects, evaluates the staffing approaches undertaken by other federal agencies, develops a workload-based staffing model, applies the model to current projects, estimates current staffing gaps, and identifies preliminary resource alternatives to address resource shortages.

Corrective Measure #3
Establish objective, uniform methods for assessing, communicating, and managing project risks and uncertainties. This would include the development of realistic budgets and schedules, and the consistent definition, development, and use of management reserve and contingency.

  • Identification of Best Risk Management Practices and Analysis of DOE Risk Management Plans, Summary Report, July 2009
  • November 4-6, 2009 Risk Management Workshop Briefings 
  • Protocol on Application of Contingency and Management Reserve in the Acquisition of Capital Asset projects
  • Centralized Risk Register Tool
  • Centralized Risk Register Users Guide
  • SharePoint site - This link provides a brief introduction of the DOE Risk Management Tools and Methods User Group and instructions on gaining access to the site

Corrective Measure #4
Improve the alignment and integration of cost baselines with budget funding profiles to account for federal budget fiscal realities and to ensure uninterrupted project execution. Enhance project and program prioritization and associated resource allocation to minimize negative impacts to the performance baseline.

Corrective Measure #5
Establish and implement a federal independent government cost estimating capability, including the development of appropriate policy and standards, allocation of required resources, and compilation of unit cost labor and material databases.

Corrective Measure #6
Strengthen the commitment to federal ownership by aligning and integrating acquisition strategies and acquisition plans and project plans; clearly define roles and responsibilities, enhance integrated project teams participation, and ensure accountability for ownership and integration.

Corrective Measure #7
Identify and implement opportunities to improve the management and oversight of projects; clarify federal project management roles, responsibilities, and authorities, including field and headquarters integration; establish a project oversight benchmark; and align the program and project organizational structures.

  • CM7 RCA CAP DRAFT Final Report (Oct 2010). This report identifies opportunities to improve DOE oversight and management of projects, contracts, and contractors.

Corrective Measure #8
Re-evaluate program and project management policy, guidance, and standards for alignment and consistency. Establish measures and procedures to ensure that all project management requirements are clearly documented and followed and responsible personnel are held accountable.