Offensive Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBRs)

Sometimes a good defense is a great offense! 

Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBRs) are key milestones in project management, providing a comprehensive evaluation of a project’s scope, schedule, and cost. Your typical IBR involves the Visiting Team (the customer’s review team) leading the assessment with a challenge to the Home Team with a series of questions, prompting Control Account Managers (CAMs), Earned Value (EV) Analysts, Schedulers, and Project Managers to react and provide necessary answers.  

Introducing the Offensive IBR. No, it’s not where you hurl insults across the table! An Offensive IBR is a proactive twist to your traditional IBR. In an Offensive IBR, the Home Team under review takes the lead, anticipating questions and guiding the Visiting Team’s reviewers through the IBR process. 

Challenging, but Rewarding! 

By revealing one’s cards upfront, there’s a strategic risk of exposing vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the benefits of Offensive IBRs outweigh the risks. Proactively addressing potential concerns allows the Home Team to thoroughly prepare, inspiring confidence even in less-than-ideal circumstances. It’s an opportunity to showcase not just the project’s strengths but also the strategies in place to overcome weaknesses, and your team’s expertise in diagnosing and correcting issues. There have been many an IBR where the Away Team feels like they need to drag the Home Team to an answer, eroding the Away Team’s confidence. Getting ahead of this can score you plenty of points! 

Executing an Offensive IBR 

To effectively execute an Offensive IBR, meticulous preparation is key. Your team should try to anticipate all potential areas of inquiry, outlining mitigation steps and corrective actions for any known issues. This approach demonstrates accountability and transparency, instilling trust and confidence in the Home Team’s capabilities. Confidence in the face of challenges can be a powerful tool in steering the review process towards a positive outcome. 

Wrapping It Up 

Offensive Integrated Baseline Reviews represent a proactive shift in project assessments, allowing teams to take control of the review process and demonstrate a high level of control and confidence in their work managing a project. While it requires strategic planning and careful consideration of vulnerabilities, the benefits of thorough preparation and transparency far outweigh the risks. By embracing Offensive IBRs and adopting a proactive mindset, project teams can navigate challenges with confidence and confidently move on to successful project execution. 


To ensure a thorough evaluation, it’s advisable for the review team to enlist the expertise of a third party for a comprehensive audit. This external perspective can pinpoint potential weaknesses that may have been overlooked internally. Armed with this insight, the reviewed team can accurately address vulnerabilities during the Offensive IBR, further reinforcing their preparedness and credibility. AzTech offers IBR prep services, and an IBR readiness package you can use to help your team prepare for a traditional or an Offensive IBR. 

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