February 2011

The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
In This Issue
EVP Headcount
On Getting Efficient
A Seven Year Old Gets It
EVM World Registration Open
Gov't CIO on IT Management
EVMS Material Management, Part 1 of 3
Book Review - Augustine's Laws
Ray's Rules of Rank
Two Out of World Experiences

Current EVM Head Count 

Based upon an email from a new EVP it appears there are about 325 EVPs or so. Still a very select group among the EVM and PM community. A lot fewer than the over 400,000 people with that other project management certification.


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Quotable Quote


"Without efficiency in management, efficiency of the workmen is useless, even if it is possible to get it.  With an efficient management there is but little difficultly in training the workmen to become efficient. I have proved this so many times and so clearly that there can be absolutely no doubt about it.  Our most serious trouble is incompetency in high places. As long as that remains uncorrected, no amount of efficiency in the workmen will avail very much."
Henry L Gantt, 1919
Management Guru
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Did you find this newsletter interesting? Forward it to a friend!

2011 EVP Exam Dates
Listed below are the exam dates, the deadline for discounted applications, and the final date for applications.  Exams are held worldwide so all dates listed may not be right for you. 


13, 14 May 2011
Early discount: 28 Feb Deadline: 15 March

3, 18 June 2011
Early discount: 20 March
Deadline: 4 April
7, 9 July 2011
Early discount: 26 April
Deadline: 10 May 

16 Sept 2011
Early discount: 3 July
Deadline: 18 July

12, 17 Nov 2011
Early discount: 29 Aug
Deadline: 13 Sept

9, 10 Dec 2011
Early discount: 25 Sept
Deadline: 10 Oct


Always check with AACE
 for revised dates and application information



The Kids Get It

My wife and I were waiting for the boarding announcement for our AA flight from LAX to Cabo San Lucas. AA was announcing other flights as we waited. Next to us was a couple with two girls, maybe 5 and 7. "American flight XXX is now boarding First Class passengers to..." said the PA system. The older girl looked at her parents as asked, "Are we First Class or Second Class?"


Got that right. 




EVM3The Earned Value Management Maturity Model®
Books 24 x 7 
EVM3 cover
The Earned Value Management Maturity Model book is now available from Books 24x7, as well as from Management Concepts.

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EVM WORLD 2011 Registration is Now Open
PMI EVM COP's annual EVM World will be held in Naples, FL May 16-18. Start hinting to your boss that this is the place to be for the latest in EVM theory, techniques, government policy, tools, and best practices. Register before April 18 and save. 

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Proof of Ray's Rules of Rank


In the early days of Naval Aviation (biplanes) a young aviator was killed and his wooden and cloth aircraft was destroyed. The Navy convened a Board of Inquiry to determine the cause of the accident. The Board consisted of Admirals who likely had never been near an aircraft and certainly did not understand the physics of lift, drag, thrust, and weight. After prolonged discussions and harrumph-ing a cause was declared. The poor aviator had tried to fly on a day when the air had no lift. 


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EVM Schedule Adherence and CPI and SPI (t)Statistical Forecasting

The EzEVM™ workbook has provided projects and firms a low cost solution to performing EVM and refining their EVM processes.


The EzEVM MSExcel workbook template now includes "Schedule Adherence" and statistical forecasting of final CPI and SPI(t).


EVM data can be entered from any EVM software to provide these valuable analysis products as well as traditional EVM indicators.



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25 Ways to Reform IT Management

In December 2010 Vivek Kundra,U.S. Chief Information Officer, 



The 25 ways are in six categories. Project management tied for the most in one category.


On program management:

  • Have a formal IT PM Career Path
  • Scale IT PM Career Path government-wide
  • Require Integrated Program Teams
  • Launch a best practices collaboration platform
  • Launch a technology fellows program
  • Enable IT PM mobility across government & industry


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Creator of NASA PM Challenge Retires 

Dorothy Tiffany was the EVM Focal Point for NASA. A visionary, she created NASA's PM Challenge eight years ago. A retirement reception for her was held during last month's PM Challenge. What a great legacy. Like the originators of PMI and AACE, it takes one with both an idea and a passion to create something that lives on without their involvement. Ten years from now when someone asks about the origin of PM Challenge the answer will be "There was this woman, she had this idea, her name was Dorothy..." 


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Welcome to the February EVM Newsletter.  

This month we begin a three Tidbit series on how purchased project material fits into EVM. Why three articles? Because material is complicated by the type of material, when and how it's used on the project, and when and how you pay for it.


There is a book review of a twenty year old book that is timeless. Hence the review. The good news is that if you want to buy it you can find it used.


Registration is open for only another week for the March 10-11 EVPrep workshop in Reston, VA. This is an ideal time to attend the workshop, learn where you are weakest, and have study time for any of the Spring or Summer EVP exam dates.



Ray's Rules of Rank are disclosed for the first time and an example is provided.


News is reported from both NASA and the USAF Space and Missile Systems Command recent program management conferences. A link to the NASA proceedings is included.


Do you often fly "Coach" or in the "Main Cabin"? A seven year old will provide you with an "attitude adjustment" for the next time you fly.


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


Ray Stratton, PMP,EVP
Tidbit #18, Material, ugh


Material, part 1 of 3. In this tidbit we'll review what ANSI 748 says about material and what it means.


There are all kinds of material associated with completing projects.lumber Big, one of a kind special order items (one test cell, please); commodities (computers, pipe fittings, etc.) and stuff from the general stores warehouse ("Can I have 200' of RG-58 cable please?") So ANSI 748(B) is necessarily vague on how to incorporate material in EVM planning and accounting. Here is some of what it says (abridged).


2.2d Establish budgets for ... significant cost

elements (.., material, etc.).


2.3f ... the material accounting system will provide for:


  • 1) Accurate cost accumulation and assignment of costs to control accounts...


  • 2) Cost recorded ...in the same period that earned value is measured and at the point in time most suitable for the category of
  • material...
  • 3) Full accountability of all material purchased


Why all this fuss over material? If we're building as ship there is lots of it. But if we're building an IT system there may be little, if any. Of course we should be interested in what we budgeted, what we spent, and what we used. We also care about the process to purchase the material, receive it, and test it if necessary. That's basic project and cost management. In EVM there is one other item. When and how much material is used is an indicator of progress! Yes, material usage can generate schedule variance.


Here's a conversation I had with a potential client who wanted an independent look at their internal ANSI 748 gap analysis. "Ray, we didn't look at any of the material guidelines since we don't sell any tangible items to the Government." "Do you buy any material

such as computers to do the work, using cost reimbursable contract funds?" "Yes." "Then you do." {see 2.3f 3) above}. "We'll get back to you." They never did. Maybe they did not like my answer.



Material accounting does not include labor efforts to get it. That's in the category of labor intensive efforts such as writing the specs, going out for bid, reviewing  bids, placing the PO, receiving the material, inspecting it, storing it. How these tasks are included in your schedule and EVM PMB has a lot to do with how you pay for these efforts. Are they direct or indirect (do you have a purchasing department on indirect costs). Direct cost efforts probably become a scheduled task within the WBS/OBS. Indirect tasks become milestones such as "PO Placed".


EVM material planning and accounting is all about material, not the labor to get. We know we need to buy 26 tires for our five demonstration vehicles (including six spares). Labor efforts will buy it and we know we have to budget to buy them, but how do we make tires part of our PMB? That's where we pick this up in the March EVM Newsletter.


Next month part two - planning material into your EVM performance measurement baseline.





Book Review "Augustine's Laws" 


AUGUSTINE'S LAW, Norman R. Augustine, ISBN: 0-915928-81-7, 1988, Amazon and others, new and used prices vary

What's the point of reviewing a book that was first printed in 1983?Rules When the book is timeless in its accurate depiction of problems and challenges of bringing a new system from conception through development. Sadly, what he wrote in 1980 is just as true today and applies to most high technology development projects. So if you are new to systems development you will find useful knowledge about the environment you have become part of. If you lived through the defense programs of the 80's you will find that he's accurately described the crazy world you worked in. I read it in 1985 and I just read it again. Regardless, any reader will find laugh out loud humor in his 45 laws and quotes sprinkled throughout the book.

Norman Augustine is certainly qualified to create such laws. He served as Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering; Vice President at LTV Missiles and Space; Assistant Secretary of the Army; a CEO at Martin Marietta; President, CEO, and Chairman of Lockheed Martin; and chaired the Defense Science Board.

The book is 45 chapters, each with a Law. Each Law is a conclusion of 3-5 pages of backup material and graphs, often leading you to think you know where he's going, only to find the Law is orthogonal to your thoughts. The Laws are worth the price of the book, but his continued use of quotes by others adds even more to the book.

Each chapter begins with a continuation of the tale of an aircraft development program from its award, through all its challenges, to its cancellation, to promotions for all involved, to those who get more responsibility for the next program. (The idea of a parallel tale appeared again in my Earned Value Maturity Model book, but I'd lost where in my subconscious I had stored the idea.)

On pushing technology he states "designing a system near the 'edge of the state of the art' is risky when 'it's not clear which edge one is on'". He follows this with Mario Andretti's Indianapolis 500 experience. In 19 races he finished only 3 times and won only once. Otherwise he crashed or his car just quit. This leads us to Law # VII. "The last 10 percent of the performance sought generates one third of the cost and two-thirds of the problems." Of course he has a chart to back this up.

Law # XXIII "Any task can be completed in only one-third more time than is currently estimated" True in 1983, and too often true today.

Could the following still happen today as he described in 1983?


 "{The} contractor acquiesced to the ...demands that daily status meetings be held wherein the workforce would be afforded the opportunity to stand before an assembled throng and report at length the reasons behind the lack of progress the previous day. In addition, separate meetings would be scheduled to review budgets, planning, and personnel assignments...also on a daily basis. Finally a Master Meeting was established for each morning during which the scheduling of the all other meetings would be coordinated, and a cost-control meeting was schedule for each evening to discuss how overtime could be reduced. Thus would be solved the problems which had become uncomfortable evident: everyone was working so hard that no one had time to do any work.". 


This is not the last time you'll see some gems from this book in The EVM Newsletter.



Ray's Rules of Rank

I spent over 30 years in the Navy, exiting as a Captain. I worked for Admirals and had a two star speak at my retirement. So I've been Navy Officerthrough all the junior ranks, and been in the company of the most senior ranks.  In Augustine's Law's he quotes someone else's law: "Rank times IQ is a Constant". He said it, I didn't. But as I moved up the Navy ranks I felt I knew less and less about more and more stuff.


Here is the formula.

R * IQ = C (constant)


But I've been through the fire drill many times that starts with "the Admiral is visiting next week". For you it might be the CEO, or PEO, or Agency Head. So here are my Rules of Rank to add to the one above.


Preparation Time = R * k (Time preparing for their visit is proportional to their rank)


Visit Time = 1/R (The higher the rank the less time they will actually spend visiting)


Understanding = 1/R2 (Their understanding of what they see and hear is an an inverse SQUARED relationship)



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Spaced Out


I was able to attend NASA's PM Challenge and a week later the USAF Space and Missile Systems Command (SMC) Program Managementouterspace Assistance Group (PMAG) second annual symposium.

PM Challenge is an annual NASA event that focuses on program management challenges. It's primarily for NASA people to meet and share lessons learned, best practices, and hear from HQ. Contractors and those associated with NASA also provide presentations. There were over 150 presentations in 18 tracks. There were six presentations in an EVM track. Other tracks were on Case Studies, IT and S/W Engineering, Cost Estimating Systems Engineering, PM Basics, and many other topics. Over 1,700 people attended. There were 50 exhibitors, but mostly NASA Centers and Organizations showing their best to the others.


VIPs in attendance included Mark Langly, President and CEO of PMI; Mike Nosbisch CCC PSP, President Elect of AACE; and Astronaut Buzz Aldren all of whom mingled with the attendees.

Next year's PM Challenge will be in Orlando.

The following week I was at the USAF Space and Missile Systems Command (SMC) Program Management Assistance Group (PMAG) conference. The PMAG is a group of about twenty people, and another ten or so on-call, within SMC who assist PMs and program staff with planning, EVM, IBRs, and risk management. They can also supplement program staff as needed during the critical startup of a new program to get it underway properly and smartly. About 300 attended this Aerospace Corporation managed event.


Different group than the NASA group - same concerns. We're doing better, but we still could do even better at program planning, PMB development, CAM notebooks, risk management, and EVM integration.

Future PMAG Symposiums are likely to remain in El Segundo CA with the SMC HQ and Aerospace Corporation sites there.

Workshops EVPrep and EVM Workshops
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, control 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.

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 II (was part IV).

This is twelve hours of mock EVP exam and discussions of correct and incorrect answers.
Do you have an EVP FAQ
Go to AACE'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 
WHEN: 16-18 May 2011
WHERE: Naples, FL
WHEN: 19-22 June 2011 
WHERE:June 19-22, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim CA
MORE INFO: AACE, International  

Australasian Integrated Performance Management Symposium
WHEN: July 2011
WHERE: Canberra
MORE INFO: later

23nd Annual Integrated Program Management Conference
WHEN: November 2011
WHERE: Washington DC
MORE INFO: later



EVM Jobs 
Do you have open EVM positions? Reach over 1,500 possible candidates via The EVM Newsletter to help get the best people to fill your EVM positions. Send me an e-mail with the details and contact information. It will be posted in the next issue.

Do you have news to share? Send your news item and we'll review it for posting in a future EVM Newsletter.
Ray Stratton, PMP, EVP
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. (AACE®). The PMP, PMBOK, and R.E.P. are trademarks of the Project Management Institute.