April 2010

The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
In This Issue
EVP Interest in Europe
AACEI and CPM Enter Into Agreement
Precision Reduces Accuracy
Updating PMI's EVM Publication
Remaining 2010 EVM Workshop Dates
An EVM Success Story

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EVPprep Workshop Held in Lisbon, Portugal 
The first international EVPrep workshop was just completed in Lisbon in cooperation with
PMO-Projects, a Lisbon based PM training and consulting firm. The training group consisted of government personal, Portuguese corporations, and PMO-Projects' consultants.
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2010 EVP Exam Dates
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: 6/26 (Georgia only)
Early Discount: 4/13
Deadline: 4/27
Early Discount:4/27
Exam: 11/6
Early Discount: 8/23
Deadline: 9/6
Always check with AACEI for revised dates and application information

Registration is Underway for EVM World 2010
CPM's annual EVM World conference is in Naples, FL on June 2-4. Hotel rooms at the conference rate fill quickly so make your plans quickly.  

No EVP exams at EVM World or IPMC in 2010
In the past AACEI had conducted EVP certification exams immediately following EVM World and the IPMC (Integrated Program Management Conference). AACEI is currently reviewing their certification application and exam processes. As a result AACEI certification exams will only be conducted per their worldwide schedule listed on their website. (See above for the dates.) Hopefully we'll see the EVP exams again following these conferences in 2011.

AACEI and CPM Enter
Into Agreement
Mark G. Grotefend, CCC, President of AACEI announced that CPM and AACEI had reached a cooperative agreement for the benefit of both organizations. The announcement was made at the AACEI Southern California Section and South Central California 2010 Spring Symposium. Among the benefits to members of either organization is their ability to register for either association's events at their member rate. CPM members will learn more about the agreement in their next Measureable News.

Book Review Next Month
Next month look for a review of "Measuring Time" by Mario Vanhoucke.

Baseline Changes
Mark Infante is leaving Deltek on April 23rd and will join SM&A on May 3rd as their VP of PP&C Solutions at SM&A. Good luck Mark. We'll look for you at the SM&A booth.

The Missing Link
Last month's EVM Newsletter talked about weekly EVM as practiced by Tom Kennedy and Raytheon. The link to the original ProjectsatWork story was left out. The full story.

Well it's about mid-month, which is my goal to send out The EVM Newsletter. Travel to Europe on short notice threw off my schedule. (I know, typical PM excuse.) Fortunately my entry and exit point was Madrid so I escaped the wrath of the volcano.
In this issue.. 
Tidbit #9 is about how adding detail to your schedule can reduce the accuracy of your earned value (EV) and cost collection (AC).
Last month we had a short and not too serious article about a mythical god of EVM. This month is a real life story about how a VP got all his PM's to report EVM on all their projects.
We've had to revise some dates for the "Earned Value Experience" and EVPrep workshops due to client needs. Check the new dates, maybe they work for you.
Deadlines are approaching for applying for the EVP Summer exams or discounts. See the left panel. Also we explain why EVP exams will not be held immediately following this year's EVM World and the IPMC.
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
EVM Tidbit #9
When Precision Reduces Accuracy
Not all great ideas in project planning are compatible. One of the more common problems I see in client's efforts to apply EVM is the magnifying glasslevel of detail planning. It's not that the planning has too little detail, it has too much detail!
There is a notion that tasks should be scheduled down to 80 hour efforts. In general the idea of decomposing work to a detailed level is a great idea. It shows what is known about the work, what is not known, and a roadmap of work for the project staff to follow.
I support detail planning, but it has to fit the work and not all work lends itself to 80 hour increments. So, first, plan to the detail that the knowledge and nature of the work allow. Normally MS Project and similar tools ask the user to provide a budget or resources to complete the work. Not a bad idea. Done right this can help make sure the overall budget addresses all the work to be completed.
But here is a problem. When the project gets underway we feel the need to record costs to the levels budgeted. This leads to a plethora of project charge numbers for all those accounts of 80 hours or more or less. At the end of the day or week our staff knows they worked on the project every day. But which of these many tasks and how much time was worked on each? So they look over all the "open" charge numbers and select some to record their time spent on the project. The total is correct but the detail is really questionable.
And here is the real problem. If we let MS Project or other tools compute percent complete task-by-task from the recorded hours (costs) there is little accuracy in our EV.
What is the solution? One...Record costs at a higher (WBS) level in the project so that there are fewer charge numbers. People tend to work within a few WBS at a time so sorting out the charges at the end of the day or week is easier and thus more accurate. Two..Estimate EV by reviewing work products. EV cannot be computed from funds spent. Manually enter "Physical Percent Complete".
What to do with all the detail planning? Make them EVM work packages! Work packages need budgets per ANSI 748, but cost collection is not required. (We just need to know the big ones from the small ones.) You get the benefit of better estimates of EV and more accurate AC from properly recorded costs.
Next month. More detail planning or lower cost estimates, pick one - how to decide.
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Updating the PMI Practice Standard on EVM
The PMI EVM Practice Standard, first published in 2005, isEVM PS undergoing an update. Mr. J. Greg Smith is the Project Manager. The international team includes: Neil Albert (USA), Eric Christoph (USA), Anthony Corridore (USA), Kym Henderson (Australia), Takeshi (Ken) Nishi (Japan), Alexandre (Alex) Rodrigues (Portugal), Cyndi Stackpole (USA), and Steve Wake (United Kingdom). 
 A kick-off meeting was held in San Francisco on 6-7 March 2010.  CPM members can read more about this effort in the next issue of the Measurable News.
WorkshopsEarned Value Experience™ (CAM workshop) and EVPrep™ Exam Prep Workshop Dates
Some of dates and places for the EVPrep and Earned Value Experience (CAM) workshops have been changed.
Please review the dates below. Perhaps you can now attend a scheduled public session due to the revised dates.
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:
  • Costa Mesa CA May 24-25
  • Seattle WA Aug 10-11
  • San Jose CA Aug 17-18
  • Arlington VA Sept 14-15
  • Chicago IL Sept 21-22
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  
  • Tampa FL May 4-5
  • Costa Mesa CA May 26-27
  • Reston VA June 14-15
  • Seattle WA Aug 12-13
  • San Jose, CA Aug 19-20
  • Arlington VA Sept 16-17
  • Chicago IL Sept 23-24
  • Reston VA Oct 27-28
 Do you have an 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.
Upcoming EVM and PM Conferences 
DELTEK Users Conference
WHEN: May 17-20
WHERE: Washington DC, USA
EVMWorld 2010 (Registration Underway Now)
WHO:PMI College of Performance Management
WHEN:June 2-4
WHERE: Naples, FL, USA
MORE INFO:www.pmi-cpm.org
24th IPMA World Congress
WHEN: 1 -3 November 2010
WHERE:Istanbul, Turkey 
MORE INFO: http://www.ipma2010.com/congress.php 
EVA Europe 2010
WHEN:Nov 24-25
WHERE: Belgium
EVM Jobs 
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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Implementing EVM, A Success Story!
This is a true story about how one senior leader got EVM implemented in his company. It's from the 1990's but I think his methods would work today. Our main character is the site manager (VP) in a medium size (3,000 employees) aerospace company. His goal was to have all his projects to use EVM. They used EVM when the contract required it, but he saw its value and wanted the same visibility on all their projects.
Like most firms, once a month each PM would put together a one hour briefing on their project for the VP and his direct reports. During one month he told each one of his PMs that in three monthsboss he'd like EVM data to be included in all briefings.
In the next few months the PMs worked on getting the EVM planning and accounting in place. Well, most of them.
Of course the one hour briefing required much preparation starting days before the meeting. The PMs were busy checking facts, making presentation files and back up slides, anticipating questions, and having good answers. A busy and stressful week followed by a briefing that would impress the boss, or not.
Three months passed.
One by one, throughout the month the PMs briefed the site manager. After a few introductory slides about the project background the boss would ask, "Do you have the EVM data I asked for in your presentation?" Most of the PMs said, "Yes".
The few who said "No" went on to explain how they had been "too busy" or "had problems" or .... The site manager simply said, "I think we're done here today. See you next month with EVM data." All that preparation and stress wasted. The boss was clearly not impressed.
And the next month every PM brought in EVM data. Not completely accurate, but accuracy would come.
Do you have news to share? Send your news item and we'll review it for posting in a future EVM Newsletter.
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. (AACEiŪ)