Satisfying Needed Scope Versus Wants

What is the definition of Requirements Traceability Matrix? It's a table that links requirements to their origin and traces them throughout the project life cycle.  Not everyone uses them. There are many templates and means to ensure your project meets the requirements.  But I can't stress enough how important it is to ensure you're working to satisfy the requirements (or scope) first.  I reviewed a vendor's progress report today and realized the very last task they had on their activity list was requirement mapping.  When asked why it was the last item on their list, their response was the activity wasn't on the critical path.  So, how on Earth were they going to know they were done, if they didn't map the requirements first?  Here they are, at the end of a development cycle, and we're being told the requirement mapping activity is just basically a clerical process. Imagine the frustration I suffered, knowing all too well they may have missed something.  Imagine how expensive it could be, to fix at the end versus the beginning of the development cycle?  I'm not saying the vendor didn't do a lot of work or deliver a lot of product.  Unfortunately, they spent way too much time satisfying the daily wants of a stakeholder and took their focus off the needs of satisfying project requirements in the process.

What do you think?  I'm a being too much of a control freak?

Calculating Variance of Activity the PMP way

Variance of Activity
Variance of Activity

When I was studying for the PMP exam, a few years ago, I remember memorizing a group of formulas.  One of those was the "Variance of Activity."  At this point, don't remember if it was even referenced in the exam.  There were no direct questions asking "what is the formula for..."  On my exam, I remember having numerous questions resulting from schedule variance calculations and cost variance calculations.  To my surprise, I went searching for the Variance of Activity formula in the PMBOK (4th Edition) and I can't find it!  So as not to lead people astray when giving PMP study advice, I'm now researching each formula I was once told to memorize.  I'm very surprised PMI didn't save us a lot of trouble and list known formulas in the back of the PMBOK.