September 2013
The EVM Newsletter™
from Management Technologies
Highlights in this Issue
Cost and Schedule Confidence
AGILE+EVM at IPM Conference
Minimal Compliance
Common EVM Errors
What Colors Your View?
CPM Awards Program
Management Technologies Services 


>Third Party EVMS Certification   



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Cost and Schedule Confidence Level


NASA has implemented a Cost and Schedule Confidence Level policy that requires projects to demonstrate a 70% probability that final costs will be equal to or less than the targeted cost and schedule will be equal to or less than the targeted schedule date.  This 70% confidence policy is partially based on the concept of "the portfolio effect" - which implies that decision makers can fund projects at lower confidence levels while achieving higher confidence levels from an Agency or Program viewpoint. 
To learn more watch the NASA video.


Quotable Quote

"Good generals make plans to the fit the circumstances; bad generals try to make the circumstances fit the plan."


Gene Patterson

Lt Tank Commander

Gen Patton's' Third Army


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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.)



Six Sessions on


Once again it is my honor to be the track coordinator for a six session track on applying AGILE+EVM. The track is part of the Integrated Program Management Conference in Bethesda, MD, in November,


Since EVM World 2012 the topic of Agile and EVM has gained increasing interest at College of Performance EVM conferences. Attendees' comments have helped improved the content with each conference.


This year's IPM conference Agile+EVM track is improved again. Included will be scenario based sessions to walk the audience through the planning and execution of agile projects. This will include establishing the baseline, reporting values for EV and PV, and handling the scope and schedule adjustments that are part of employing Agile.


The track will begin with a review of Agile concepts and terms, and end with a panel of the presenters who will address audience questions and comments


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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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Just Meet Requirements

When I worked for a large US defense contractor we had a problem. Engineers were over engineering, adding costs and risks, and often unneeded features. 


A campaign to be "minimally compliant" was initiated. Just do what the scope or requirements require. I have carried this through in EVM processing engineering. Just read and do what ANSI 748 (or other applicable EVM requirements) state.


Recently a good friend presented a comparison of ANSI 748 to other EVM standards after a peer review. Some of his peer review team's comments included comments regarding inclusion of US DoD and NDIA guidance. Wisely he maintained his comparisons to just ANSI 748, not any agency or association guidance. Sometimes this additional guidance is applicable per contract or customer, sometimes not. Sometimes its just a preference or opinion.


Know what you have to do. Anything else probably costs more and adds risk.


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Welcome to the September 2013 EVM Newsletter. me2011


This month's EVM Newsletter is a little light. When one has nothing more to say it's time to sit down and shut up.


Still there is some news in this EVM Newsletter and always an EVM Tidbit.


The College of Performance Management continues to seek nominations for their award program. If you know someone deserving of one of their awards get going. The deadline is the end of September.


We complete our three part series on what the US Government Accountability Office found in a survey of organization's practices. This month's is on, of all things, earned value management. Previous findings on cost and schedule are in the July and August EVM Newsletters.


NASA has a video on implementing a policy of cost and schedule confidence level in their planning and estimating.


We've added three additional conferences to the list of PM and EVM Conferences. 


We have planned an EVPrep™ workshop following IPMC in Bethesda MD. By attending the two day workshop you can save $125 off the exam fee, and increase your chances of passing based upon past statistical analysis.


This month's Tidbit hints about getting how to get the full value from earned value management. Are you seeing the true story or just what you would like to see?



 Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn


What goes through your mind when the subject of EVM Rebaselining comes up? Our Quotable Quote gives us something to consider when considering rebaselining.


There is a short article on making sure your EVM implementation does what you need it to do, not more. 


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 


US GAO Comments on the State of Earned Value Management


Karen Richey from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) office presented "Best Practices and Recent Audit Findings" at EVM World 2013.


Last month we listed the second of three sets of findings on cost estimating, scheduling, and EVM. Here is the third set: earned value management.


Could this be part of your EVM implementation?


  • Does not use product-oriented Work Breakdown Structures
  • Schedules underpinning the EVM system are not meeting many best practices
  • Programs often rebaseline due to overly optimistic cost and schedule estimates
  • EVM data anomalies are widespread and recurring
  • EVM data are not being used to proactively manage the program
  • Program managers do not integrate EVM data with the risk management process


Tidbit # 47, EVM Through Rose Colored Glasses


Does your EVM data confirm what you already know or does it cause you to think deeper? One of the benefits of using earned value management is the ability to quantify progress against our plans and expenditures. Add in the ability to drill down into control accounts and you can get to the truth about how our projects and programs are going. We want the truth, right? Can we handle the truth?


"Confirmation bias" is the mental state where we only see what confirms what we already think we know. Sounds good unless what we "know" or recall is not correct. Then what we are seeing only confirms a non-truth. Confirmation bias occurs to surgeons, pilots, juries, law enforcement, and just about anyone else, including project managers. The more critical the knowledge the more like to have confirmation bias creep into the debate.


Confirmation bias includes favoring information that confirms hypotheses, selective recollection of facts, or interpretation of ambiguous information as supporting one's point of view. "People are biased toward confirming their existing beliefs" according to Wikipedia. This can lead to overconfidence in these existing beliefs. The result is poor decision making or worse. The fact that NASA had previously seen O-rings fail without consequence confirmed {falsely} that O-ring failure was not likely to have consequences.


Human nature is what happened. We are spring loaded to see situations as we want them to be rather than as they are. It's a common phenomenon, yet not understanding it can lull us into a dangerous state of complacency.


Project/problems don't announce themselves at first. Frequently they are subtle; they whisper before they shout. They lull us into complacency before they become obvious and threaten the project itself. The real trick to handling an emerging project problem is realizing you have one in the first place. Then you can apply all your experience and training into handling it. Until the problem is recognized you are only along for the ride.


What might confirmation bias look like? 

  • "Last month's poor CPI will be better next month because last month was unusual." 
  • "Yes, the SPI is only 0.88 but all projects have start up issues. We should not do anything yet."
  •  "There is a slight up-tic in last month's SPI and CPI so we are getting better. We have reversed the trend."


While each of these statements might be true, they might also just be what we wish we were seeing. Do you see clearly? What color are your glasses? We do want the truth.


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EVPrep™ and EVM Workshops

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


  • Reston
  • Phoenix
  • Bethesda (following IPMC)



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. 


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 address and the number of attendees to receive a quote.



Upcoming EVM and PM Conferences



IPMA World Congress

WHEN: 30 September - 3 October 2013

WHERE: Dubrovnik, Croatia

MORE INFO: IPMC World Congress 


PMI Global Congress 2013-North America

WHEN: 27-29 October 2013

WHERE: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA



PMO Symposium 2013

WHEN:10-13 November 2013

WHERE:San Diego, California, USA



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



Construction CPM Conference

WHEN: January 21-24 2014

WHERE: Swan & Dolphin Resort, Walt Disney World, FL



AACE International Annual Meeting
WHEN: 15-18 June 2014

WHERE: New Orleans, LA, USA



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



Leadership Awards from CPM 



The College of Performance Management (CPM) offers two leadership awards named in honor of strong leaders of the EVM community. These accolades are not awarded every year but only when someone deserving has been nominated and the CPM Board agrees that person meets the demanding criteria. Very few have been deemed worthy. Do you know someone who should join their ranks as deserving of this recognition?


The Driessnack Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an individual who:


* made major contributions to project performance management policy, concepts, and practices, which have national and international implications;

* provided critical contributions to the evolution of Earned Value Management and project planning and control standards, research, and education;

* promoted the exchange of theory, development, and application among project management professionals.


Since 1992 only 10 people have been selected as recipients of this award.


The Gary Christle Leadership Excellence Award is awarded to individuals who:


* demonstrated leadership in his or her community;

* promoted an environment of cooperation whether it is between customer and supplier or within the government or a company;

* shown not a one-time effort but ongoing examples of leadership;

* made significant contributions to the development and/or understanding of earned value management that historically has and will continue to distinguish their work.   The contribution should be a definable body of work as demonstrated through one or more of the following:  speaking, teaching/training, research, publications, professional practice, etc.


Only one recipient has been honored by this award in 2009.


Nomination Forms for either of these Awards can be downloaded from CPM 


2013 Nominations close on 30 September, 2013.


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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  

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