June 2013
The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
Highlights in this Issue
EVP Study Group Gets to Work
Tools are not First
What EV Really Says
Agile+EVM Track a Success
Spent Budget Just Tallies Spent Budget
CPM Seeks Candidates for Governing Board
Work before Work Packages
Results Count!
Management Technologies Services 


>Third Party EVMS Certification   



Don't miss the next EVM Newsletter

You can opt out at any time.  Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone.


(Add www.mgmt-technologies.com to your white list.)


 Past Newsletters


Back to top

Publication Highlights Orbital Sciences' EVP Study Group



AACE's June 2013 "Source" electronic publication highlighted Orbital Science's Women's' EVP Study Group.


The group meets bi-weekly to help their members prepare for the EVP exam. According to the article they are using both AACE's EVP study guide and ours . A nice complimentary mix of material.


AACE's Guide is somewhat tutorial and our Guide is a drill of over 230 EVM related exam-like questions.


Members of the group had also attended our EVPrep workshop at Orbital Sciences' offices.



Back to top

 You Define Your EVMS Process, Not Your Tools! 

Russell Matney from the energy company Areva  was a second keynote at EVM World 2013.


He spoke about their roadmap to implement EVM within the company. There was no contract requirement for EVM. Instead senior management just wanted actionable data for portfolio management.


Their goal was an ANSI 748 EVMS even in the absence of a customer requirement. His lesson: "define the process, don't let the tools define the process". 


Tools do not meet ANSI 748, processes do. Start simple, define the process, then review the tools and select the most appropriate.


That repeats the advice of many EVM conference keynotes in the past.


Yet the first step many organizations take is "buy a tool". It's easier than defining the process, and fun to play with, but now the process is imposed by the tool.

Quotable Quote
"Earned Value (BCWP) should show that you deserved at least what you got paid, and that you used your time well."


Ray W. Stratton PMP, EVP

Forward to a friend 


Did you find this newsletter interesting?

Forward it to a friend!



Back to top

AACE Approved Education  Provider

 R.E.P. logo

PMI Registered Education Provider




Constant Contact All Star Award (3nd year)

(Less than 10% of Constant Contact customers are
All Stars.)



EVM + Agile Track Shows High Interest

The EVM World's 2013 "Agile+EVM" Practice Symposium track of six related presentations was well attended.


At several points the session attracted over 20% of the conference attendees even while there were six other concurrent presentations underway.


This illustrates the high degree of interest in Agile, how to best apply EVM to agile projects, and how to apply Agile in projects requiring EVM.


The track began with an overview of Agile and its terms and concepts to bring the group to a common level of understanding. Then several presenters described how they mapped the Agile progress into the EVM terms. Presenters also addressed how Agile fits within the US Acquisition Regulations.


A panel discussion with all the track presenters was the last session. Questions, answers, and discussions filled the 45 minute session.


I was my pleasure to propose and coordinate this track. The real credit however goes to the track presenters. Here they are.


Scott Dalessio 

Joy Villagomez

Josh Breen

Glen Alleman

Pete Zafros


I am considering proposing a follow-on track for the Integrated Program Management (IPM) Conference for November in D.C. If you have an interest in participating and presenting please email me.



 Back to Top


EVPrep Materials Statistically "Effective"


People ask me; and I needed to know.


Does our EVPrep workshop and/or EVP Study Guide really help with the EVP exam?


For a year or so prepaid postcards have been given to workshop attendees and Study Guide purchasers so they can anonymously report on their exam outcome.


Using these data and data from AACE regarding yearly totals of EVP exams taken and exams passed we did some statistical analysis.


Yes, our EVPrep products are effective in increasing the likelihood of passing the EVP exam. Nice to know.


Back to top

I Must Be There, I Have Used Most of My Fuel!

Past readers will recall that I often find many parallels between piloting an aircraft and piloting a project as a PM.


Recently I was teaching why EVM is better that tracking budget-to-actuals when another parallel concept occurred to me.


While flying our position can be determined by several means (look out the window, GPS, dead reckoning, radar controllers, etc.).


One way that does not work is determining the amount of fuel used. So just like flying, knowing how much you've spent does nothing toward telling you what you've accomplished.


Yes, you have to keep track of fuel used, or budget used. But it does not tell you where you are.


Back to top






Welcome to the June 2013 EVM Newsletter. me2011


This one of the longest Newsletters in recent history. We feature all three EVM World 2013 keynote speakers and an update on available College of Performance Management (CPM) Board elections. The Agile+EVM track at EVM World is reviewed.


Of course, there is another EVM Tidbit on Work Packages and Work.


A study of EVP Exam results with, and without use of our EVPrep material is discussed. (Hint, they help.)


Last month we mentioned a US Air Force Institute of Technology student's research on Earned Schedule. We didn't say the USAF endorsed it, nor did the student. But at least one person said we did. We'll correct that perception. The interesting aspect of Earned Schedule is that it costs nothing to perform the analysis. Same basic EVM data. Different view. And it's not perfect, but neither is Critical Path Method. But two tools give you two different values and now you have a range of outcomes. Point estimates are always wrong. 


Missed EVM World this year? EVM World 2014 is at end of May in San Antonio, Texas. Plan ahead.



 Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn



After having quoted military leaders, national figures, and EVM experts, this month I am quoting .....myself. Something I said during a training class made a statement I felt was worth remembering. So I wrote it down, here. 


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 


CPM President Solicits Board Candidates



The College of Performance Management (CPM) is seeking nominations for a number of existing board positions and newly created board positions.  


The board's positions are filled in two separate elections to provide some continuity of leadership during the transition periods.


Gary Troop, President of the College of Performance Management (CPM), reminded EVM World 2013 lunch banquet attendees about the six CPM Board positions currently up for election this November. He mentioned that the Board positions require attending two board meetings a year. These are held immediately before CPM's EVM World in May and the IPMC in DC in November. Reasonable travel costs to attend these meetings and events are reimbursed by CPM.


In addition the Board conducts 90 minute conference calls once per month. Board members also need to work diligently toward meeting any action items assigned during the meetings and conference calls. The term of office is for three years.


The positions open are:

*           Executive Vice President

*           Vice President of Finance

*           Vice President of Conferences and Events - EVM World

*           Vice President of Conferences and Events - IPMC

*           Vice President of Research and Standards

*           Vice President of Global Outreach


CPM members may nominate others or themselves for a specific positions. Nominations must be received by 15 July.

Position Descriptions are available on the CPM Web Site. In order to be eligible for election nominees must be CPM members in good standing.


If you would like to know more about the positions and duties please contact Lauren Bone (VP Administration) or Gaile Argiro (CPM Exec Admin).



 Back to Top 



Tidbit # 45, Which Came First, Work Packages, or Work?


"Work packages should be 44 hours or less in duration."


"Scheduled tasks should be two weeks long."


These and similar rules are often stated with the goal of keeping scheduling and schedule performance measures simple. But most project work is not simple. Thought, not rules, should be used in setting up schedule detail and work packages.


The nature of the work and how it is typically decomposed should define how the work is measured.  Not every task fits into short timeframes. Creating un-natural tasks that fit arbitrary time frames creates extra effort in planning and often becomes the source of philosophical arguments between the "doers" and the "measurers". (I know of one instance where it became physical.)


It also can drive up the cost of EVM and project controls. More and more time is spent in creating linked networks, updating progress, and maintaining the EVM baseline when there are lots of linked task. There has to be a balance.


Look at the work. Find the products. Not enough detail? Find the subproducts. Let the "doers" define the subproducts. Define the "completion standards". Schedule the tasks to complete the subproducts.


Establishing an EVM baseline for a control account should recognize the nature of the work and the way the work is decomposed. If it fits the way work is done the use of EVM will be more acceptable to those who do the work. It also ties the progress to the completion of products. That is the only real true measure of progress.


Back to top


If There is One, There are at least Ten


It's said that if one person speaks up there are at least ten others with the same thought.


So when I received a comment that last month's The EVM Newsletter said that the US Air Force endorsed earned schedule I  reread what I wrote. The word "endorsed" did not appear in the article. The quoted material was taken from the thesis.


An AF Captain's individual's research program simply found earned schedule more effective than traditional EVM schedule forecasting methods. In the interest of brevity I did not include a disclaimer that appeared in the thesis paper.


Here is it. "The views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States Government."


I believe there was no misrepresentation in The EVM Newsletter. I did not hear from the Air Force so apparently they were OK with the article as published, but now you know.


EVPrep™ and EVM Workshops

The following workshops are planned for one or more of the following locations:


  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Austin
  • Bethesda (following IPMC)

Earned Value Experience (CAM) Workshop (14 PDUs)


You'll experience creating an earned value management baseline, determining earned value from project status, calculating 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.


Locations and Dates


View the Earned Value Experience 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. 


EVPrep Exam Prep Workshop (14 PDUs)


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.


"Ray, your course is excellent preparation for the EVP Certification test. Your questions were comprehensive like the test and somewhat harder (more complex) than the real test. Your preparation course especially helped with the memo."

Jeff Kottmyer



Locations and Dates 


This is twelve hours of mock EVP exam and discussions of correct and incorrect answers.


Do you have an EVP FAQ?

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


AACE Annual Meeting

WHEN: 30 June - 3 July 2013

WHERE: Marriott Wardman Park, Washington DC



PM Oz 2013

WHEN: 17-18 September 2013

WHERE: Melborne, Victoria, Australia



IPMA World Congress

WHEN: 30 September - 3 October 2013

WHERE: Dubrovnik, Croatia

MORE INFO: IPMC World Congress 


Integrated Program Management Conference

WHEN: 18-20 November 2013

WHERE: Bethesda, MD



EVM Europe 2013

WHEN: 3-4 December 2013 (Changed)

WHERE: University of Ghent, Belgium



AACE International Conference

WHEN: 12-13 November 2014 (Yes 2014)

WHERE: Bangkok Thailand



EVM World Keynote Says Following Processes is Not Enough

The opening keynote speaker at EVM World 2013 was former Vermont Governor, former presidential candidate, and the former Chairman of the (US) Democratic Party, Howard Dean.


He spoke about how industry (and government) is all about processes. There is comfort in following established processes, but results may be lacking. "Process checkers are not interested in outcomes." he said.


His example was today's educational processes, virtually unchanged for a hundred years and still failing many of today's youth. Process over results may yield few results. (Isn't that what the Agile people say?) "The things that teachers teach have never been testing for effectiveness." he said. As an example, "sight reading" was rolled out without a test of effectiveness and has now been dismissed as ineffective.


My question to the EVM community is "Are we more interested in following the ANSI 748 processes than the results and use of the results?"

"Ten Year's After Earned Schedule "

That was the title of Walt Lipke's keynote address at the closing session of EVM World 2013. Earned Schedule (ES) was introduced ten years ago in his paper "Schedule is Different" and published in the CPM Measurable News.


A growing body of researchers have validated it as a preferred method of schedule prediction using EVM data. Research has been conducted using both historic EVM data from completed projects and statistical modeling of project activity networks of varying topologies.


Walt described how he was trying to find indicators to better forecast the outcome of software projects. Part of his research lead him to the metrics provided by EVM. At the 2002 CPM EVM conference he met Quentin Fleming (author of many books on EVM and respected expert). Fleming was talking about the statistical performance of CPI but said nothing about SPI. Walt questioned Quentin and was told that SPI fails in the end (meaning it always ends up being 1.0 regardless of the completion date).  Schedule IS different. Walt went looking for something else. Out of this search came the concept of Earned Schedule.


Informal examination of ES to previously completed IT projects was performed by Kim Henderson who concluded "The retrospective analysis of ES using my own EVM ... data ...has confirmed ..the accuracy of the ES concept..." (CPM Measurable News 2003). But it was a limited data set.


Further research in 2007 at Ghent University by Vanhoucke and Vandevoorde using computer modeling of activity networks, Monte Carlo methods, and statistical analysis concluded that "The results reveal that the earned schedule method out performed, on the average all other forecasting methods (ed: using EVM data)". Their results are published in Measuring Time, Improving Project Performance Using Earned Value Management" (ISBN 978-4419-1013-4)


Most recently, a USAF researcher (Capt. Kevin Crumrine) at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 2013 found Earned Schedule to a timely and accurate predictor of project schedule outcome as covered in last month's Newsletter.


Walt presented a slide showing that at least eight books currently discuss earned schedule including PMI's Practice Standard on EVM, and it is addressed in at least three university's coursework.


While there is widespread interest in ES there are some detractors within the EVM community. Walt addressed this fact is his closing remarks drawing a parallel from the critical review of "Stairway to Heaven".


A critic called the song "a thicket of misbegotten mush" and "Sounds" magazine called it "first boredom and then catatonia". And yet it's the most requested song on FM radio.


If you want to know more there is an Earned Schedule website that Walt has created.

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

Copyright 2013, Management Technologies  

The EVM Newsletter, EVPrep, The Earned Value Management Maturity Model, EVM3, EzEVM,
The CAM Exam, 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. (AACEŽ).


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
registered trademark of the College of Performance Management, Inc.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License