Control Account Manager (CAM). Is a single manager within the organizational structure who has been given the authority and responsibility to manage one or more control accounts.
A control account is the lowest level in the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) / Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS) matrix, where all of the data elements and management activities exist. Specifics of the data elements are discussed in subsequent chapters.
Management of the project can occur on an exception basis at more summary levels of the WBS and OBS, but all significant variances will eventually be traced at least to the control account level. Control account management responsibilities include schedule planning and status, measurement of accomplishment, actual cost collection, variance analysis and resultant corrective action, and estimating costs at completion. It is the point where technical scope, schedule, and budget are integrated.
Within the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) the control account is the basic building block of the project management process. It is the control point where technical scope, schedule, and cost parameters are integrated. The control account is also the point where work progress is measured, where actual costs are collected, where variance analysis occurs, and where corrective action is initiated. The selection of the proper level of detail for the control account is a key factor in the success of the system application.
If the control accounts are at a very summary level, adequate management visibility will not exist. If control accounts are too numerous, the cost of operating the system increases dramatically and the data produced may overwhelm the users and be less effective for project management.
Guidelines for selecting the proper level of detail for control accounts include technical, schedule, cost, risk, and information objectives.
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