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The EVM Newsletter™ #54                                                    March 2014


Welcome to the March 2014  EVM Newsletter. Spring is here! (Did the US Northeast not get the memo?)


We're proud to announce that The EVM Newsletter has been awarded Constant Contact's All Star award for the fourth consecutive year. Less than 5% of their clients achieve this award. To receive this award newsletters need to follow CAN-SPAM rules, send newsletters on a regular basis, show increasing subscriptions, and have an "open" rate twice that of the typical newsletter. Thank you, readers.


EVM World around the corner. It's May 21-23 in San Antonio. Plan to attend and meet the rest of the EVM community. We will have a Tools Track to present Management Technologies' products and services.


This month's Tidbit has to do with the various factors to consider in creating control accounts. It's complicated. Also we provide a link to get all previous 53 tidbits


Fleetwood Mac reminds us that EVM data should be used for directing the project's future work and planning.


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A free evaluation version of our CAM^EXAM is now available. This evaluation version is a full version of the 100 question CAM^EXAM, but is not scored. Managers and EVM focal points may request the link to the CAM^EXAM evaluation version.


The EVM+Agile Track will be conducted again at EVM World 2014. The list of presentations is provided


A few readers have reported not being able to follow the links in The EVM Newsletter due to corporate firewalls and blocks. Beginning with this issue we will begin providing full URL addresses for these firewalled readers in addition to simple "click here" links. The listing of full URLs will complete in the next few EVM Newsletters.


We close with a reader's question about EVM baselines, planning, and non-critical path work. What do you think is the answer?


You can help make the EVM 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 



BLOCK1 Fleetwood Mac Gives PM Advice

There is a time for reflection on the past as part of project closeout and lessons learned. But once a project in underway only the future can be controlled. Fleetwood Mac understood this with the lyrics  ..."Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow, don't stop, it'll soon be here"..."Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone." 


Fleetwood Mac on Looking Forward (5 min)
Fleetwood Mac on Looking Forward (5 min)


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EVM Agile Track Sessions

As mentioned in the last EVM Newsletter, I am conducting an EVM World ( Practice Symposium Track on Agile and EVM. The following presentations agile have been confirmed. The sessions are 21-22 May in the afternoon. If the topic interests you stop by.


If you have not registered for EVM World do so, attend, and meet the rest of the EVM community.


  • Intro to the Agile Track and the Agile Process
  • Agile Performance Measurement
  • Agile Earned Value: Rigor Meets Flexibility
  • Agile and EVM: Endeavor Together
  • How to Use Earned Schedule on Agile Projects
  • Agile Panel of Presenters

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Quotable Quote
"It's not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It's the customer who pays the wages." 






Henry Ford 

BLOCK3What Can You Do for Me?

Management Technologies will be conducting a Tools Track presentation at EVM World  ( in San Antonio in May. We will be covering all the products and services we provide the EVM community. If you are attending the conference please consider attending our Tools Track presentation. One attendee will leave with a raffle prize.



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BLOCK4Tidbit #54, Control Account, Where Art Thou?

Probably the most significant element in applying EVM to a project is deciding the number and location of control accounts. How many? How large (budget)? Who will be the CAMs?


There is no clear cut process or algorithm. It depends on the work, the organization, the culture, the different finance system, and the scheduling system. Oh, let's not forget the project manager's style and preference. 


More Control Accounts means more EVM cost, more time collecting data, more detail, and maybe more accuracy. More Control Accounts also can mean more VARs, BCAs, WADs, and time spent in authoring, reviewing, approving, recording, and filing these forms.


Less Control Accounts means less EVM cost, less time collecting data, less detail, maybe more accuracy, fewer VARs, BCAs, WADs, and time processing these.


So what is the right number of Control Accounts ? It's complicated and multidimensional. Cost accounts are sensitive to the WBS, the OBS, the scheduling system, subcontract relationships, and most important the financial system. If you can't collect costs at the Control Account level by WBS and OBS you can't do EVM. So the first consideration is the financial system. What does your charge code structure look like? How many characters are provided for encoding the WBS and OBS? How is the WBS coded? (Two alpha characters don't mean up to 676 WBS elements if all WBS codes have to start with "A".)


What about just setting rules for setting up Control Accounts? Using arbitrary budget or duration values in defining Control Accounts is not going to yield a good set of Control Accounts . High risk work will not have the detail needed, and low risk work will consume EVM resources in managing detail that is not required. Furthermore the arbitrary budget values might not match the OBS resulting in more than one OBS element responsible for the work.


Next month, part two. What else to consider and which is more critical OBS or WBS?



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Management Technologies Products & Services 

The Fork in the Road


Go Left? Go right? Or stay on center? Bet $5 or pass? Decisions, decisions!


Decision trees help organizations choose between alternate project management strategies when the results of such actions are uncertain. Decision trees can help individuals make decisions where the outcome is uncertain. Making good decision is good business.


CPM's ( March Topical Webinar will discuss when and how to use decision trees. It will be held on Thursday, March 27th at 12:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. The webinar is free to CPM members and $25.00 for non-members. PMI members can earn 1 PDU with the webinar.


The presenter is well known Dr. David Hewett, a leader in project risk and scheduling standards. 



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EVPrep and EVM Workshops

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).


"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



Do you have an  EVP FAQ?  


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


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.


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.


BLOCK8Tidbits #1 through #53.


Where can you go to find old EVM Newsletter Tidbits?



Since August of 2009 each EVM Newsletter has included a tidbit to help make EVM work better, be less costly, or more accurate, or timelier. Until now the only index to previous EVM Newsletters was by Month and Year. Not very useful since most EVM Newsletter content is time sensitive. But the Tidbits are not. 


So now all the Tidbits are available via a link ( lists each topic or theme. The link is on all our web pages as well. 



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Conferences and Events

EVM WORLD 2014 (Registration is open)

WHEN: May 21-23 2014

WHERE: San Antonio, TX



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



PMI Global Congress 2014 - EMEA

WHEN: 5-7 May 2014

WHERE: Dubai, United Arab Emirates



PMI Global Congress 2014 - North America

WHEN: 26-28 October 2014

WHERE: Phoenix, Arizona, USA


AACE International Conference

WHEN: 12-13 November 2014 (Yes 2014)

WHERE: Bangkok Thailand


PMO Symposium

WHEN:16-19 November 2014

WHERE: Miami, Florida, USA



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A reader sent me discussion topic: "Suppose a contractor time-phases their Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB) to the "late dates" of their Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) at the time the baseline is established.  Then, the contractor operates to the "early dates" in the IMS.  In other words, they work to one plan (the "early" plan), and report performance to another plan  (the "late" plan). In other words, they work to one plan (the "early" plan), and report performance to another plan  (the "late" plan).


"I have always viewed this as gaming the EVMS and keeping "two sets of books."


Sounds like a good idea to me. Stay ahead of the curve, not on it. But is this having two sets of plans or just good planning?


ANSI 748, 3.10.4 says "Normally, a performing organization should not have an internal operating plan that is different from the baseline plan for that work. On occasion, an organization may find it advantageous to have an internal recovery plan when there are problems. A recovery plan will not replace the baseline as a basis for performance measurement. "


So ANSI provides for having an internal plan different from the baseline plan, but qualifies it with "when there are problems." Why wait for problems? Why not have an aggressive internal plan and keep ahead of the game? You might just increase your award fee? You might just deliver the goods early. You boss might be surprised to see an SPI >1.0.


I'm OK with this idea. What do you think? Let me know and I'll share the various answers (w/o attribution if desired.)


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Copyright 2014, 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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