I’ve had a subscription to a trade rag called CrossTalk (The Journal of Defense Software Engineering) for a few years now. I’ve read the articles but none really got my attention and kept it. In the December 2008 issue, there is an article about comparing Earned Value Management Methods to Earned Schedule. It was written by Walt Lipke of the Oklahoma City Chapter of PMI.
Now that I’m working on a very large government project, this article really sparked my interest. If you’re working in a government PMO or on a government project, I recommend you give it a read. The author did a really good job of using real project data and also did an excellent job comparing EVM methods to the Earned Schedule (ES) prediction technique.
If you’re new to Earned Value Management or still studying for your PMP, this may make your head hurt a little. If PVcum, EVcum, and BAC are in your daily vocabulary, you’ll enjoy it. Article Link
Should all projects or programs utilize Earned Value Management?
Short answer: No
Long answer: The industry standard for project control systems described in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) EIA-748, Earned Value Management Systems, must be implemented on all projects with a total project cost (TPC) greater than $20M for control of project performance during the project execution phase.
Earned Value Management (EVM) is a systematic approach to the integration and measurement of cost, schedule, and technical (scope) accomplishments on a project or task. It provides both the contractee and contractor(s) the ability to objectively examine detailed schedule information, critical program and technical milestones, and cost data.
In layman’s terms, it quantifies the estimated value of the work actually accomplished.
While I was doing some research for my book, I came across an excellent quote by Bill Hewlett. Do you think your boss understands this quote?
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure…and what gets measured gets done.”
— Bill Hewlett, Hewlett Packard