What is the impact to the program if the PMB is never approved? Is there an impact to milestones, etc?
By definition, an Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) is not a government "approval" event. Instead, the intent and purpose of an IBR, as defined in multiple guidance and policy documents (such as the Air Force Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) Process Guide, Program Manager’s Guide to the IBR Process, and National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Guide to the IBR), is for the government and contractor PM to come to a mutual understanding of the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) and for the government PM to evaluate the risk of the PMB. More specifically, the Air Force Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) Process Guide states that:
The IBR’s purpose is to develop a common understanding between the Air Force Program Management Office (PMO) and the contractor PMO regarding the project’s baseline and the project’s technical, schedule, cost, resources, and management process risks and impacts. The PMO cannot reduce risks unless it first identifies them. The IBR helps to identify risks and opportunities and provides a means for assessing their severity in a standardized and transparent fashion. The PMO and other stakeholders then use the IBR’s results to make management decisions that consider cost, schedule, and technical tradeoffs. These decisions include re-defining the program requirements or objectives, developing risk handling plans, prioritizing where and when to apply resources, and other means to achieve an executable and realistic program baseline.
As such, there is no approval or disapproval of the PMB for the government PM to provide. Instead, if there are concerns about the contractor’s PMB, the government should document all of their concerns in the end-of-IBR risk evaluation, share that risk evaluation and their concerns with the contractor, and actively work with the contractor to address them. In addition, the government could request that additional/follow-on IBR(s) be held to further review a modified PMB and again document the risks that the government feels exist with the contractor’s revised PMB. However, the government should not be in a position where they are approving or disapproving a contractor’s PMB, as doing such is contrary to the intent of an IBR – it is the “contractor’s” PMB to meet the requirements as set forth in the contract.