July 2013
The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
Highlights in this Issue
GAO May Have a Job For You
Silence is NOT Golden
Harry Truman on Truth
Might Get PDUs for Free!
Gmail Users Must Read
Control Account Costs
Common Cost Estimating Errors
Rev C versus Rev B
Management Technologies Services 


>Third Party EVMS Certification   



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Be A Senior Operations Research Analyst



The GAO Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering, has posted a Senior Operations Research Analyst position on USA JOBS.


The posting has a closing date of August 15, 2013.



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 What Does Everyone Know Except You? 

Do your project meetings suffer from groupthink?


We see groupthink in action when our favorite hour long news show interviews a group of people. As each is asked to comment on the current question they tend to agree on the answer. No one speaks up. Peer pressure, wanting to be kind, or other dynamics are at work. It helps the news crew make their case.


When four pilots watched their airliner settle on to the runway in SFO groupthink might be at work. "Surely someone else will speak up if this is as serious as I think it is."


While "groupthink" was coined in the 1960s, the concept goes back to at least April 1837. That is when a small child exclaimed the obvious that no one else would admit to. "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" while watching the Emperor parade his new clothes.


According to About.Com Psychology "A number of factors can influence this psychological phenomenon. It tends to occur more in situations where group members are very similar to one another ... Situations where the group is placed under extreme stress or where moral dilemmas exist also increase the occurrence of groupthink."


Homeland Security (DHS) has it right. "If You See Something, Say Something™"


It works for project management meetings as well.


Do your project meetings contain "groupthink"? What does everyone know that you don't, and no one is telling you?


If You See Something, Say Something is a trademark of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Quotable Quote
""I never give anyone hell. I only tell the truth. They think it's hell."


Harry S. Truman,
33rd President of the US

Forward to a friend 


Did you find this newsletter interesting?

Forward it to a friend!



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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.)



"In the Driver's Seat: Program, Planning, and Control (PP&C)"

NASA's Virtual PM Challenge session on PP&C is now available for viewing.


Abstract: Effective program, planning and control (PP&C) puts management in the driver's seat to successfully manage NASA's missions.
Having the right type and level of programmatic information is essential to sound decision making. In an environment of constrained budgets, it is imperative to have accurate data and a skilled workforce without adding undue process and reporting requirements.


To view the webcast, go to the NASA PM Challenge website and click the "Watch Now" button.

The V-PM Challenge will count as continuous learning for NASA PM certification.


 PMI  certificated individuals might just be able to claim Category B PDUs, as determined by PMI.


AACE certified individuals may be able to claim Category B CEU (recertification credits) as determined by AACE




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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.


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Welcome to the July 2013 EVM Newsletter. me2011


What are you looking at - RIGHT NOW! Well The EVM Newsletter of course. But are you looking at a desktop monitor, a laptop screen, a tablet, or a smart phone?


Four years ago it was probably safe to say everyone probably read The EVM Newsletter on their computer monitor or laptop screen. But now there are mobile devices and wifi everywhere so one can read The EVM Newsletter on many difference devices.


Not all devices render Newsletter in a user friendly format so changes are coming to the Newsletter. Within the next few months our standard format will change to accommodate our readers who use mobile devices. Expect a single column of text and perhaps fewer images. Bear with us as we move to this format and let us know if it is "working" for you.


Do you subscribe to the Newsletter with a Gmail account? If so, things are changing or may have already changed. See the Gmail story below.


Our Earned Value Experience and the EVPrep workshops have just been scheduled for September in Reston VA. The Earned Value Experience is for new CAMs and people who wish to enter the EVM workforce. It's on 16-17 September. The EVPrep workshop will be held on 18-19 September for those who plan to take the EVP.


Our quote is from a past U.S. President. While EVM was not yet in use during his term, his quote might as well have referred to the value of doing EVM.


Our EVM Tidbit is about controlling control account costs. And it's not about AC (ACWP).



 Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn



GAO has reviewed the cost, scheduling, and EVM practices of several US Agencies and major programs. We list what they learned about cost estimating. Maybe we can all learn from what they learned.


ANSI 746 C has been out for several months. What was it about revision B that needed revision? We have a summary list of the changes in revision C.


Also, how you might get PMI PDUs or AACE recertification credits, and learn something too, all for free; does your project suffer from groupthink; and there might be a job for you at US GAO.


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 


Are You someone @ gmail.com?



If you read your Gmail via the their webmail site you have or will at see some changes to the inbox. This new inbox separates email into five tabs:

  • Primary - Person-to-person conversations and messages that don't appear in other tabs.
  • Social - Messages from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, and other social websites.
  • Promotions - Deals, offers, and other marketing emails.
  • Updates - Personal, auto-generated updates including confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements.
  • Forums - Messages from online groups you belong to, discussion groups, etc.

You can pick and choose which tabs you want to use (by default, Primary, Social, and Promotions will be checked) or you can un-check all of the tabs if you aren't interested and go back to the Gmail inbox that you are used to.


Gmail will automatically categorize your email for you, but it will also learn as you move emails around and sort messages on your own (just drag and drop messages into the different tabs).


From what I know so far The EVM Newsletter will show up in the promotions tab.  While this means that there is now an extra step for you to see and read your Newsletter. Gmail users with the new inbox should move The EVM Newsletter into the Primary tab by simply dragging and dropping the email into the Primary tab or by "starring" the email.


Gmail should learn to put the Newsletter into the Primary tab if you move it there.


(If you didn't see your EVM Newsletter in your newly formatted inbox you probably didn't read this article anyway. Catch 22.)


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Tidbit # 46, Controlling Control Account Costs


Usually when we talk about Control Account (CA) costs we are   EV Gold talking about AC, or ACWP. But this Tidbit is about the cost of establishing and maintaining a CA. Mr. Robert Loop, EVP, PSP presented "EVM Light or Effective EVM Implementation" at the AACE Annual Meeting just held in DC.


The point of his talk, and paper, is that effective EVM does not mean ignoring any of the ANSI 748 EVM, just applying them in a manner that retains the value of EVM without excessive cost or effort.


He asked the attendees the question, "At a high level, what projects do not need as a minimum:


- A structure to the work to verify what is being delivered?

- A structure for the organization performing the work?

- To verify the work performed is authorized?

- To plan direct and indirect costs?

- A schedule with a critical path?

- A schedule that is statused?

- The recording of project costs?

- The performing of variance analysis?

- The calculation of estimates at completion?

- The maintenance of a change control process?

- Integration of data and logical roll-up through the defined structures?"


Most of his list focuses on CA activities. The placement of the CA within the WBS establishes the level within the project where the EVM data is generated.


He made the point that with each deeper WBS level the cost of EVM increases, likely exponentially. He explained that if we assume each lower level of the WBS contains three "children" of the parent WBS then at level 3 we'd have nine control accounts. But at level 5 we'd have 81. That's a lot of CAMs, planning, scheduling, charge numbers, baseline management and other EVM required actions. If each level spawns 4 children, at level 5 it would be 256 CA!


If you are building a rocket, aircraft, refinery, or other really large project maybe you need a level five WBS and CA at that level. But for your project maybe you don't.


Every staff hour spent on the administrative needs of the control accounts is time not spent in coordinating work and staff, stakeholder management, risk management, soft skills, etc. Is the EVM data really so much more accurate because of the detailed level? Or is it less accurate as people have less time to really know what work is done, what risks lie ahead, what charge number to use, and what rework might be needed?


His complete paper is available from AACE.

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US GAO Comments of the State of Cost Estimating


Karen Richey from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) office presented "Best Practices and Recent Audit Findings" at EVM cost World 2013. Many of her slides were specific to the US Government and specific agencies.


GAO's findings on cost estimating, scheduling, and EVM however apply to all projects and organizations. This month we list their cost estimating findings. Check this paraphrased list and reflect on your organization's practices. Could this be your organization?


  • Does not include all program life cycle costs and does not break out costs into sufficient detail
  • Rarely uses standardized product-oriented work breakdown structures with common support elements
  • Does not reflect historical and/or risk data, including assessing the risk impacts if major assumptions fail
  • Does not document the cost estimate to a level that would allow a cost analyst unfamiliar with the program to replicate the results
  • Conducts limited sensitivity analyses that are usually based on engineering judgment rather than historical data
  • Does not perform cost risk and uncertainty analysis and fails to document the risks associated with assumptions
  • Cannot show that estimates are unbiased (i.e., do not identify a level of confidence along with contingency)
  • Failed to crosscheck estimating methodologies and does not reconcile with an independent cost estimate
  • Cannot demonstrate that management has understood and approved all facets of the cost estimate
  • Fails to update the cost estimate to reflect actual costs and reasons for variances


Next month we'll give you their list on scheduling.


EVPrep™ and EVM Workshops

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


  • Reston
  • 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



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



9th ICEC World Congress

When: 20-22 October 2014

Where: Milano Italy

More Info, TBD


AACE International Conference

WHEN: 12-13 November 2014 (Yes 2014)

WHERE: Bangkok Thailand



Why Have a ANSI 748, Rev C?

Thanks to information provided from NDIA here is the rational for creating the recent Rev C to ANSI 748.

  • Strengthen the use and understanding of "Integrated Program Management"
  • Provide additional clarity on items of debate between Industry and Government
  • Input from Government partners
  • Clarifications and/or modernization of content, Minor corrections
  • Comparison review of the Australian & United Kingdom EVMS Standards (Canada uses the ANSI 748 Standard)
  • Increase use of graphics to illustrate point(s)
  • Strengthen discussion of risk


So what changed? Here is a top level view of the changes in Revision C according to NDIA. Like I said when it first came out, if your EVMS is ANSI 748 compliant - it still is; and if your EVMS is not ANSI 748 compliant - is still isn't.


  • Forward - improved
  • Section 1 Introduction - a few words
  • Section 2 EVMS Guidelines - NO CHANGE
  • Section 2 Common Terminology - acronyms
  • Section 3 EVMS Process Discussion - Clarifications, Graphics, Added Labor Rate and Efficiency and Material Price and Usage equations
  • Section 4 System Documentation - small improvement
  • Section 5 System Evaluation - a few words
  • Section 6 List of Suggested References - this is a new section
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.


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