February 2012

The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
In This Issue
EVP Exam Follows EVM World
Getting to ANSI 748
Update on CPM
Don't Take on the Impossible!
CPR Calls for CPR
QWERTY, C:\, and BCWS
Lessons from Harry Potter

   

AACE offers EVP Exam Following EVM World™

AACE will offer an EVP exam session immediately following EVM World™ on June 2. Check with AACE for the exact location. EVP exam applications must be received by 7 March if you want to make this exam session.

 

 

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PMI EVM
Community of Practice News

 

PMI continues to have an EVM Community of Practice. On March 7 they will hold a webinar on "Maintaining the PMB". If you are a member you can sign up! If you are not a member of the EVM CoP, but are a PMI member, join and sign up.

 

 

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Quotable Quote

quill

 

"Software gets slower faster that hardware gets faster." 

 

Niklaus Wirth,
Wirth's Law, 1995

 
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Forward to a friend 
Did you find this newsletter interesting? Forward it to a friend!
 

EVM3The Earned Value Management Maturity Model®
on
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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Save $150 with Management Technologies' EVPrep Workshop

AACE recently announced that attendees at AACE Approved Education Providers (AEP) events would receive no-cost temporary membership in AACE.

 

This policy allows these attendees to apply for AACE certification exams at the AACE member price ($150 less than the non-member price).

 

If you are planning on taking the EVP exam here is how to save $150.

 

  1. Attend our EVPrep exam prep workshop
  2. Get your temporary member e-mail from AACE.
  3. Apply to take the EVP exam at AACE member rates
  4. Save $150.
   

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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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Fast track to ANSI 748 (Hint:Don't Overdo It)

 

It helps to be small. Management Technologies is working with an 8a graduate firm with a $50M IDIQ 5 year contract with a civilian agency. It's a mix of FP and CPFF work with tasking on an FY by FY basis.

 

ANSI 748 is expected, tailored CPRs are required, and financial reporting is required via both the WBS and by worksites.

 

Complicated? Yes.

 

Doable? Yes.

 

We expect to be in position for an EVMS Validation review in less than six months from starting the EVM process engineering. How? Using what is in place and making sure it just meets ANSI 748. Are you in a similar situation? Maybe we can help you.

 

 

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Garbage IN
Garbage OUT

 

The US GAO continues to uncover cases where common knowledge and best practices are ignored or skipped.

 

Latest is the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) efforts to estimate the cost to complete a project using EVM data. The GAO said that IRS's program's earned value management data was not reliable. "Until IRS addresses deficiencies in the EVM data, it cannot provide a reliable cost estimate." Therefore any estimates based upon the data were questionable.

 

Surveillance was not conducted on the EVM system. Had it, perhaps the estimates would have worth something.

 

(Maybe I, too, can use random numbers in completing my 2011 US Income Tax return.)

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

LMC Loses $1M / month for EVMS Process Failures

 

This just arrived as this issue of The EVM Newsletter was being finalized. Courtesy of Reuters

 

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Tuesday (28 Feb) told Lockheed Martin Corp, the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor, that it would withhold about $1 million a month in billings on the latest F-35 fighter contract until the company fixes a complex system that tracks the program's cost.

 

 

"Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout said the company was working closely with the Pentagon agency to regain approval of the cost-tracking system known as EVMS, or "earned value management system," at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas."

 

 

 

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 R.E.P. logo

 

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Top 

Greetings..

 me2011

Welcome to the February EVM Newsletter.

 

This issue brings an update to the evolving College of Performance Management. Meanwhile PMI continues to have an EVM Community of Practice.

 

With the new PMI CoP model PMI members can join the EVM CoP for no additional cost. So join both the PMI EVM CoP and CPM. Go crazy with EVM!

 

Do you really look at your CPR data? The steps to rescue a troubled project are discussed below. But you won't know if your project needs CPR without looking at your CPR!

BREAKING NEWS, 28 FEB 2012. LMC is "fined" $1M per month for EVMS Process Failures. See lower right.

 

When will we see the end to BCWS,BCWP and ACWP and
just use PV, EV, and AC? Typewriters, APPLE, and your phone suggest we never will. Be bilingual.

 

Did you like the book or the movie better? We show how transforming books into movies can teach us about stakeholder expectations.

   

Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn

  

Ever try to do the impossible? Not much chance to succeed if you sign up for the impossible. Learn from Mr. Phelps. Make sure the Control Account Work Authorization Document defines the possible.

 

Our subscriber list is over 2,200. If you want to share a story or an idea consider writing 50-100 words on the subject.

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
  

 

 

 

Update on the New College of Performance Management

 As reported in January, PMI and CPM have mutually agreed to go separate ways. For those of you who have been members of both over the last decade or so you can see how each of these organizations operated differently. For one, most visitors to the old CPM website had virtually the same experience as members. A visitor (non-member) to a PMI website is often limited to where they can go and resources available. PMI members have a significant advantage over non-members. For both organizations these differences were not by accident but illustrate some of the differences in approach to addressing community interests.

 

The "new" CPM has a new website www.mycpm.org.

 

And like the old CPM there will be two EVM conferences per year. EVM World 2012 is this May-June in Naples, FL. To encourage attendance CPM is offering one year membership FREE to attendees. If you can't attend you can join CPM for only $25 USD.

 

CPM will be sending an email soon to members, past members, and conference attendees outlining member benefits.

 

The CPM EVM library should be on-line about 15 March.

  

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Tidbit #30, "Good Morning Mr. Phelps, Your Mission...."

And so began each episode of the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE TV series and the latest round of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies. "YourMission Imp mission should decide to accept it..." led to a description of the task ahead (scope) and the ominous "should you or any of your IMF team be caught or killed the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your operation." Of course our courageous Mr. Phelps took on the mission (or the show would be over in 5 minutes.)

 

Are you a CAM? Do you feel like you are in this position when you are given a Work Authorization Documents (WAD) to sign? The WAD defines your scope, time, and budget. A good WAD has a place for the PM and you to both sign. But the scope, time, and budget may have changed a lot since you provided inputs into the proposal. Negotiations with the customer likely added scope, reduced schedule, and reduced the budget. Take the time to review the WAD.

 

Believe it or not you don't have to sign it if you can't meet the WAD's triple constraint. (It helps to get the backing of your functional/departmental management in a matrix organization. Yes, you do work in a political environment and you do want to keep your job.) Signing it only leads the PM to believe you can do the work in the timeframe and budget allocated. If you can't now is the time to say so. The schedule and budgets might get reworked. If you sign and then fail to meet the WAD's goal the PM might just disavow any knowledge that you had more scope than you could do in the time and budget allowed.

 

That could put you in a very lonely place.

 

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When Your CPR Says You Need CPR!

  

Ivan Rincon published a paper ("Priority Action Approach: How to Apply the Principles of First Aid to Recovering Your Ailing Project")

describing how the Priority Action Approach (PAA) technique that is used by emergency health services can provide ideas for rescuing troubled projects before they roll over and die.

 

He outlined the First Aid sequence of steps from primary assessment, through critical intervention, secondary assessment, and treatment. For project managers this means consistently following a disciplined approach to rescuing a project, regardless of the situation.

 

For living creatures the vital signs are: ABC, Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. For projects the vital components are scope, time, cost, and quality. If these vital components are not doing well then immediate action is needed. Any other project issues can be deferred.

 

However, a common medical problem is having a patient who doesn't believe they are in severe distress although everyone else sees it. To attack a problem you have to recognize it.

 

This may be the source of a common complaint by senior executives, "Why didn't the PM tell me there was a problem when I could have done something. Now it's too late!" Consider your SPI and CPI as vital signs like blood pressure and respiration. Would you want your emergency room staff to watch your BP drop lower and lower? "I think it will turn around soon. Yeah. Sure it will. Let's all have positive thoughts." If your SPI or CPI are dropping do something! First draw a graph of SPI and CPI versus time. How fast is the decline? Where will you be in three months if you do nothing? Intervene now.

 

Rincon goes on to suggest that intervention is needed to rescue the project, but is should be based upon data and facts. Assumptions and constraints should be limited so that strategies are based on fact and few constraints. The intervention plan is just another project to be tracked. Track the "intervention project" just like the target project. It's complete when the troubled project is back on plan or working to a new plan.

 

 

 "QWERTY", "C:\" drives, "DIALING" and Four Letter Words

 

 Somebody makes a decision and it establishes something FOREVER.

 

When the first typewriter was being invented there was a serioustypebars problem. A fast typist could type faster that the typebars (letters) could fall back into the cradle. The typebars would collide and jam the typewriter. The solution was to find out which letters appear side-by-side most often in the English language and separate the typebars in the cradle so there was more clearance. Next time you type something see how often the letters you use alternate between the right and left hand. And there you have it. QWERTY, not ABCDEF.

 

When computers added an internal hard drive they already had used small external drives. Most of these computers (APPLE II) could handle up to two external drives. "A" and "B". Then came the internal hard drive. "C" was next in line. A and B are largely gone, but C is still here.

 

The first phone that didn't need an operator had to send pulses to the switching equipment to signal the digits in the phone number. By having a wheel with a hole next to each number the caller could index the "dial" to the right position so that the correct number of pulses would be sent. So the verb "dialing" was invented to describe the action of positioning the dial and releasing it. Push button phones replaced rotary phones but we still "dial" a phone number. Today my cell phone has a touch icon for the "dialer".

 

Over forty years ago the principles of EVM were being established. The terms BCWS, BCWP, and ACWP were defined to precisely describe the values they represent. At least once a month I am asked when everyone will switch over to PV, EV, and AC. I don't know. Let me get some information from calling someone using my "dialer", or maybe I'll email them using my QWERTY keyboard. For now, we all have to be bilingual. Know your two and four letter words.

 

 

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Workshops EVPrep™ and EVM Workshops
  
The following workshops are planned for the following locations:
  • Reston, VA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Saint Louis, MO
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.
 
Interested in an on-site workshop? Send an e-mail with your your address and the number of attendees to receive a quote


EVPrepEVPrep 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).
 
Take this workshop and save $150 on the exam. Attendees are given a temporary limited membership in AACE that allows you to take the exam at AACE member rates.

 
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.

The Harry Potter Syndrome 

 

A great, best seller book is turned into a movie. The movie is a hit. "Did you like the movie or the book the best?" is a common question. The clear majority of people will say the book was better than the movie. Why?

 

When you read a fictional book your mind creates the characters and scenes. Each person who reads the book "sees" the characters and scenes differently. Then Hollywood decides to make a movie from the book. According to a web source the "Movie Directors are responsible for the complete interpretation of a written script, using their vision and creativity". So when our reader sees the movie created by the director it doesn't look or feel right. It's the Director's vision, not the reader's.

 

And so it is with systems engineering and failed stakeholder expectations. I call this the "Harry Potter Syndrome" since it parallels the book-into-movie problem.

 

The specification says that "The user shall be able to ......", and this is interpreted by systems engineering and implemented in the final product. The problem is that what the system's engineer did in implementing "the user shall be able to..." is not what the stakeholder visualized when reading the same spec.

 

Avoid "The Harry Potter Syndrome". Build demos, prototypes, and early products to validate what the systems engineering team visualizes is close to what the stakeholders visualized from the same specification. Once again, stakeholder involvement is key. BCWP only should equal BAC when the customer says "that was as expected". Help make this happen by working continuously alongside your stakeholders as the product is developed.

 

Avoid the need for wizards to make success happen.

 

Upcoming EVM and PM Conferences 
        
   
EVM World 2012
WHEN: 30 May 2012 - June 2 2012
WHERE: Naples, FL
MORE INFO: CPM
 

AACE Annual Meeting 2012

WHEN: 8-11 July 2012 

WHERE:Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, Texas
MORE INFO: AACE, International  
  
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, PMP, EVP
Management Technologies

Copyright 2012, 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 , EVP, and the AEP logo are marks of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, International. (AACE®).

 

The PMP, PMBOK, PMI, and R.E.P. , and the Registered Education Provider logo are
registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

 

EVM World is a trademark of the College of Performance Management, Inc.