December 2009

The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
In This Issue

Management Technologies
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> EVM Training & Workshops
 
> EVMS Process Engineering 

>Third Party EVMS Certification

>EVP Exam Prep Workshops and Study Guides 

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Making Hard Decisions

The US Dept. of Veteran Affairs has cancelled or cut funding on 15 IT projects out of 45 that failed to meet cost and schedule performance expectations. "We were able to catch these projects, in part, thanks to the IT Dashboard" said Vivek Kundra, the Federal Chief Information Officer.


AACEI EVP™ Study Guide, 2nd Edition Complements the EVPrep Study Guide

AACEI's EVP™ exam study guide, 2nd edition, is a great complement to the EVPrep™ Study Guide. The AACEI Guide provides a short tutorial on likely exam topics followed by a few questions on the subject.

The EVPprep study guide provides exam taking strategies and over 230 questions organized similar to the EVP Exam parts.
 
 
AACEI's guide is available through their on-line bookstore or 800 number. The study guide is available in CD or softcopy. ACCEI member price is $65, non-member price is $95; plus shipping.
 

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How many EVPs are there?

According to AACEI there are about 250 EVPs. If you have your EVP you are one of a very few. If not, think about getting your EVP!

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US DOD Reaffirms EVM in Report to Congress
The DoD has concluded that the EVM process is the best tool available to the program management community and senior leaders for effectively managing large, complex acquisitions. No other alternative exists that can match the benefits of EVM.
 
The report list the following benefits of EVM.
 
  • Integrates planning, budgeting, program management, and control 
  • Improves insight into Program Performance
  • Reduces management risks
  • Promotes management by exception
  • Fosters accountability
  • Provides objective information
  • Allows comparative analysis against completed programs   

Get the full report 
 

2010 EVP Exam Dates
exam
AACEI has published their 2010 EVP exam dates. Non-US dates are within a week or two of US dates. Listed are the exam date, the deadline for discounted applications, and the final date for applications. Exams are generally held nationwide (US). The exam on 6/26 is only held in Georgia, US. 
 
 
Exam: 3/6
Early Discounted: past
Deadline: 1/5
 
Exam: 6/26 (Georgia only)
Early Discounted: 4/13
Deadline: 4/27
 
Exam:7/10
Early Discounted:4/27
Deadline:5/11
 
Exam: 11/6
Early Discounted: 8/23
Deadline: 9/6
 
 
Always check with AACEI for revised dates and application information
TopmeGreetings..
Welcome to the December EVM Newsletter™. This Newsletter provides an EVM tidbit on why EVM sometimes fails us. Perhaps you will recognize some of conditions that can cause EVM failures and might try to reduce or eliminate them.
 
We also report on EVA Europe and the premier presentation on Integral Earned Schedule (IES) analysis. This new spin on traditional and earned schedule analysis warrants some serious consideration
 
EVM World 2010, the Deltek users conference, and EVA Europe 2010 information is included as well as the EVM World call for papers.
 
Nominations for the EVM Innovation Award is still open, hurry and get your EVM project into the pool of candidates for consideration. See the article below for more on this new EVM award.
 
Registration is now open for the Earned Value Experience™ and EVPprep™ workshops in Reston in February. See below for the first half 2010 workshop schedule, workshop outlines, and registration info.
 
Can you do EVM in an Agile Development project? We'll show one way that might just work for you.
 
And a lot more. Remember, you can use the link on the left to get The EVM Newsletter e-mailed directly to you. Share the news, forward The EVM Newsletter to a friend or co-worker. Just use the link below on the left panel or at the bottom of the Newsletter.
 
This is the final Newsletter for 2009. My best wishes to each of you for a great Holiday period. May 2010 bring you more success and enjoyment than you hope for, and more cash in your pocket too! (2010 SPI > 1 and CPI > 1).
 
You can help make this newsletter interesting by contributing news about your activities in EVM, your company, product announcements, or your projects. Each month starts with a blank sheet, we don't make this stuff up! Send news to me at evinfo@mgmt-technologies.com
 
Ray Stratton, PMP,EVP
Editor
EVM Tidbit #5
When EVM fails us.
 
What does it mean for EVM to fail? Most would say that anytimesurprise the EVM performance data does not reflect reality. It's not about the project's cost and schedule performance, it's about the accuracy with which EVM reports the truth. Perfect accuracy is not possible, but if the CV or CPI shows a close to on-budget condition for the work completed it should be true. There should not be any financial surprises. The same could be said for the schedule performance data and reality.
 
So why does EVM fail and when might we suspect it's likely failing?  You might look for these signs.
 
Does management actively or passively discourage accurate data?  Here are some things to look for:
 
  • Setting thresholds for Green, Yellow, Red. This common practice sets minimum values which encourage PMs and CAMs to make it to the next better level if at all possible
  • Comparing programs side-by-side using EVM data (every program is different)
  • Comparing PMs and CAMs side-by-side using EVM data
  • Expressing frustration when the EVM data is not as they hoped and working to "correct" the current period's data.
  • Specifying the "right" answer. (Listen to a 15 sec. mp3 audio clip illustrating this point from an historic quest.)
  • Setting CPI and SPI values as goals in individual performance plans
  • Permitting LOE measures for scheduled and measurable work 
 
Do control account managers lack training in EVM or EVM tools. Here are some signs:
  • CAMs do not know how to select the best work in progress (WIP) measure or Earned Value Technique (EVT) for each work package
  • CAM do not have an EVM facilitator available to help in planning control account plans and reporting progress
  • CAMs are asked to use EVM commercial software without training
  • Over use or mis-use of Level of Effort (LOE)
  • Milestones that do not have clearly stated quality and completion criteria, allowing them to be declared done when they are not 

Customers can also make accurate EVM data reporting nearly impossible, yet they are the ones most like to benefit from good data. Look for these signs:
  • Requests for EVM reports even as the scope and funding are changing
  • Asking for PMB changes without any supporting need (its not their plan to change)
  • Working with the PM (contractor) to fix the data to retain or get more funding, or to dodge "issues"
  • Inability to define and hold to baselined scope, quality, and funding
 
Look around your project and organization. If you see any of these practices you might suggest how to make the EVM data more accurate by ceasing these practices.
 
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IESIntegral Earned Schedule (IES) Debuts at EVA Europe
 
The first EVA (Earned Value Analysis) Europe was heldevaeurope in Geneva last month. This premiere event also premiered the concept of Integral Earned Schedule (IES).
 
Traditionally EVM looked at data analysis in the budget domain (the vertical PMB axis.) Earned Schedule analysis showed us how to look at EVM data in the time domain (the horizontal PMB axis.) Is there value in integrating both? Integral Earned Schedule (IES) looks at the AREA under the PV and the EV curves to determine schedule performance.
 
Presented by Mojtaba Zarei-Kesheh, student at London South Bank University, his approach looks at the volume of work planned versus the volume of work completed. In estimating project costs we often think of work in "staff-months". Isn't this just the product of people (funds) and time? Then why not consider this for measuring work planned and work completed? We could integrate the area under the PMB if we only knew (a) the formula for the PMB curve and (b) remembered how to perform integration from our calculus class we slept through.  The first is nearly impossible (although there are papers on the subject) and I, for one, can't do the second. So Moj suggests we just consider each time slice (a reporting period) as a trapezoid and compute its area. Then add up all the trapezoids from the start of the project to the data date. When we use the PMB the area is the the work planned to be complete. The areas under the EV (BCWP) is the work completed. This is not as hard as it may seem. On a twelve month project there are 12 areas (trapezoids) of PV and once that calculation is done it's done unless the baseline changes. Each month there is one new EV trapezoid to compute and add to all the previous ones. Determine when the area of the planned work equals the area of the current work and you have an Earned Schedule date!
 
Moj's has worked as an Assistant Project Planner at Network Rail  applying Earned Schedule (ES) on signaling and operational telecoms projects in Thameslink Programme.  He is presently completing his final academic year in Construction Management BSc.
 
For more about IES see his presentation.
 
WorkshopsEarned Value Experience™ (CAM workshop) and EVPrep™ Exam Prep Workshop 2010 Schedule 
Earned Value Experience (CAM) Workshop
You'll experience creating an earned value management baseline, determining earned value from project status, Classroomcalculating earned value management indices, and estimating final cost and completion date. This workshop is perfect for team leads, cost account managers, financial and schedule control staff, project and program managers, and chief project officers. 
 
Excel EzEVM™ Templates may be retained by attendees to implement earned value management in their organization.
The Earned Value Experience (CAM) workshop will be conducted in:
  • Reston VA Feb 9-10
  • Burmingham AL Mar 9-10
  • Arlington VA Apr 6-7
  • Denver CO Apr 20-21
  • Costa Mesa CA May 18-19
  • Tampa FL June 8-9
 
View the Earned Value Experience (CAM) workshop outline and get the registration form.
 
EVPrep Exam Prep Workshop

The workshop covers all the topics likely covered in the exam and provides exam-like questions and workshop discussion about each question and the possible answers. This workshop also includes an EVM analysis question to help prepare you for the three page written essay in Part 4.
 
The EVPrep™ workshop will be conducted in
  • Reston VA Feb 11-12 (Ideal for the March 6 exam!)
  • Burmingham AL Mar 11-12
  • Arlington VA Apr 8-9
  • Denver CO Apr 22-23
  • Costa Mesa CA May 20-21
  • Tampa FL June 10-12
 
 Do you have a EVP FAQ
  
Go to AACEI's website for the latest information about exam dates.
View the EVPrep workshop outline and get the registration form.
 
Interested in an on-site workshop? Send an e-mail with your your address and the number of attendees to receive a quote.
 
Nominate Innovative Project of the Year Candidates by January 4.
 
Do you know of a project or organization that was really innovative in making EVM work for them? The PMI College of Performanceaward Management has extended the deadline for their Innovative Project of the Year. This winner of this award will be announced at the PMI CPM's Spring Conference  (June 2010). It will be given to an innovative, not necessarily ANSI 748, application of EVM. Anyone can submit candidate projects.
 
Time to get going on nominating your candidate.

Upcoming EVM Conferences 
 
 
EVMWorld 2010
WHO:PMI College of Performance Management
WHEN:June 2-4
WHERE: Naples, FL, USA
MORE INFO: www.pmi-cpm.org
 
WHO: Deltek
WHEN: May 17-20
WHERE: Washington DC, USA
 
EVA Europe 2010
WHEN:Nov 24-25
WHERE: Belgium
 
 
 
EVM Jobs 
Edwards Project Solutions is currently looking to hire several Project Managers for positions in the MD, DC, and VA areas. Candidates with a strong background in Earned Value Management and Scheduling are encouraged to send their resume along with salary requirements to bdavis@edwps.com for consideration. 
 
Thomas Brown of Foxwell Brown Ltd has several positions for EVM staff. Contact thomas.brown@foxwellbrown.com or 020 7993 8479 / 07952 585 386. (Please note, you must be eligible to live and work in the UK in order to be considered for the position.) 
 
Deltek is hiring consultants (several) that
 have the following downward chartskills:
 
         EVM Experience
         Deltek product Experience with any of the following:
  • Deltek Open Plan™, or
  • Deltek MPM™, or
  • Deltek Cobra™
  • Please contact markinfanti@deltek.com or call 714-943-8112
 
Edwards Project Solutions is looking for an EVM Analyst.
This position requires the candidate already hold an active TS/SCI Full Scope Poly. The work is at Ft. Meade, MD.
 
Experience: Three (3) years of earned value management analysis and cost performance report analysis experience. Send resume along with salary requirements to bdavis@edwps.com 

 
TYBRIN, Nashua, NH is seeking a PROJECT CONTROL ANALYST/CAM. Must be US citizen.
Apply online at www.tybrin.com
 
 
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has three opportunities for engineering technical Program Managers (and strong technical leaders) for ELECTRONIC WARFARE (EW) Programs. They also need a Program Administration and will consider various levels of experience. Work is in Woodland Hills, CA (LA area)
 
Maureen West / ATK
maureen.west@atk.com
maureen.west.atk@sbcglobal.net
1-818-342-0376
1-866-227-5446
 
-----------------
Do you have openings for EVM professionals? Send an email describing the position and location in 25 words or less and a link to a more complete description of the position.

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EVM and Agile Development
 
graphAgile development is one of the newest methods used deliver software functionality to users. Basically a new release of the software occurs often (monthly ?) with additional functionality. Requirement can change based upon users' inputs and may alter the initial requirements. Proponents claim this produces more product and more utility more quickly than traditional waterfall methods.
 
A challenge has been how to apply EVM to this non-traditional development method.  
 
One of the typical metrics to monitor an agile development is a burn-up chart. This is nothing but a cumulative chart of the number of functions planned to be released over time. It truly represents the plan to deliver utility over time, more so than the internal milestones such as design reviews and approved design documents. EVM can capitalize on the burn-up chart.
 
The project's burn-up chart is a performance measurement baseline! One can use the burn-up chart as both the software release plan and the cumulative BCWS over time. All that is needed is two labels on the vertical axis, dollars and features planned. With each release the cumulative features are plotted using the features axis. The EV can be read off the "dollars" vertical axis. The actual cost (AC) can also be plotted. There you have it. PV, EV, and AC for agile!
 
For more on Agile and EVM see Cabri and Griffiths' paper Earned Value and Agile Reporting.
 
Do you have news to share? Send your news item and we'll review it for posting in a future EVM Newsletter.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ray Stratton
Management Technologies

The EVM Newsletter, EVPrep, The Earned Value Management Maturity Model, EVM3, EzEVM, and The Earned Value Experience are trademarks of Management Technologies. The Earned Value Professional and EVP are trademarks of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, International. (AACEi)