Department of Energy’s Project Assessment and Reporting System Overview

June 13, 2023
Dan Demangos
Dan Demangos
Product Director
DOD PARS Overview

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Project Assessment and Reporting System (PARS) is a comprehensive project performance management tool used to measure, assess, and report on the performance of major DOE projects, similar to DOD's IPMDAR. PARS was first established for earned value management reporting in the late 1990s as a response to concerns about the performance and cost overruns of some of DOE's major projects.

Prior to the creation of PARS, the DOE relied on a variety of project portfolio management systems and tools, which often resulted in inconsistent data and reporting across different projects. This made it difficult to accurately measure and assess project performance and conduct risk management to identify potential risks and issues and develop effective mitigation strategies.

To address these challenges, the DOE established PARS as a standardized, integrated project management system that would be used across all of its major projects. The system was designed to provide consistent data and reporting on project performance, allowing them to more effectively track progress, identify areas of concern, and take corrective action when necessary.

The initial version of PARS was launched in 1999 and included a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that were used to assess project performance across a range of areas, including cost, schedule, scope, and risk. Over time, the system was refined and expanded to include additional KPIs and reporting capabilities, as well as new features such as risk management tools and advanced analytics.

One of the key benefits of PARS is its ability to help DOE identify and address potential risks and issues early in the project lifecycle. By tracking key performance indicators and other metrics, the system can identify areas of concern and flag potential issues before they become major problems. This allows project managers to take corrective action quickly, minimizing the impact on project cost, schedule, and quality.

Today, PARS is a critical component of the DOE’s project management process, providing project managers with real-time data and analytics to help them make informed decisions about project performance. The system is used to track performance across all phases of a project, from planning and design to construction, testing, and commissioning.

While PARS provides tremendous value to the DOE, there are still gaps and inconsistencies in how DOE project managers assess performance and especially how DOE contractors report data, including various data formats and how fields are mapped. This has prompted the DOE to further revamp the PARS reporting process by moving away from legacy formats (i.e., CSV and MDB) and standardizing on a single output medium (i.e., JSON files), refining the required data, and teaming with industry partners (e.g., Deltek) to develop a standard approach to output the required PARS data sets.

With cooperation from several DOE labs, Deltek is developing an export process from Deltek Cobra to output these cost data sets that will ultimately enable DOE analysts and project managers to more effectively assess project performance and, just as importantly, allow DOE contractors to more efficiently output this information. This support will initially take the form of four mandatory cost data sets (i.e., WBS, OBS, Cost and IPMR Header) as part of Deltek’s upcoming Cobra 8.5 release in July 2023, and will culminate with the remaining cost data sets several months later.

Deltek Cobra is a cost management solution that helps customers integrate cost and schedule data, establish cost controls, measure performance, and forecast outcomes to help projects succeed. Cobra reports across all program phases including project deliveries to DOD, DOE, DOT and NASA. The data can be exported to meet client reporting requirements, for cases such as with DOE PARS.


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