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The EVM Newsletter™ #59                                                  August 2014
me2011The August newsletter is shorter than most. There was a shortage of news. I learned when you have said all there is to say, stop.


There is a short article on how the EVP certification appeared again in a request for proposal. The customer listed it under personnel qualifications.


This month's tidbit talks about the flexibility that might been needed to keep the project EVM current with the evolving programs. It might mean more than just rebaselineing.



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Time to start lobbying your management to attend the Integrated Program Management Conference; the place to be for EVM professionals and the EVM community at large. It's 3-5 November in Bethesda, MD. USA. Links are provided under Conferences and Events.


A reader suggested an improvement to commercial EVM software. It's is described and explained. Vendors, listen up!


Are you frustrated by bureaucracy? Even if you are part of one you can get frustrated. We dig back to 1983 to cite Augustine's Law # XIV. Norm Augustine went back to 1950 to prove that regardless of the need, the bureaucracy grows.


We're having a contest! Details follow. You could win an EVP Study Guide!


By the way, full URLs are always shown along with links. Some subscribers are prevented from clicking on links so they have the full URL to paste into their browsers. 


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 




EVM Software Vendors, Listen Up!

I was covering the common EVM Work in Process measures (WIPs) or Earned Value Techniques (EVTs) in an EVM class. I had just covered LOE (Level of Effort) and why its use should be limited. I mentioned how LOE is often used for the project management (PM) control account (CA), and CA (CAM) efforts as well.


Then I covered Apportioned Effort (AE). A student spoke up and asked why AE was not used for PM CA and linked to all other project work. After all isn't the PM responsible for the whole project? Brilliant! But it might be hard to implement. Here is a reader's idea.


Steve Juterbock a Lead Program Analyst with the Armored Brigade Combat Team project has an idea about apportioned effort and making it more useful. EVM software companies should build in the ability to link a work package or control account to a listing of other accounts or packages, rather than a single one-to-one relationship. This would generally eliminate the need for some LOE accounts. Less LOE means more accurate earned value (EV, BCWP).


It would be an improvement if a CA manager who usually uses LOE for CA management could tie that work package to a grouping of all of their work packages where the manager was responsible.  Then the management work package would measure the weighted (by work package budget) performance and apply that to the management account. 


How could that be done? Add the budgets for all non-management work packages. Then add the cumulative EV or BCWP for each these work package. Compute the overall discrete percent complete using these values so that the size of each work package ($) is considered. (Simple percent complete ignores the relative sizes of the work packages.) Apply this percentage to the CA management work package budget to determine the cumulative apportioned EV or BCWP. Compute the monthly BCWP from the difference in the last two cumulative values.


That account would then be in sync with all of the accounts being managed, and would not be 100% complete until all the accounts being managed were also complete. 



 BLOCK5Bring Us Your EVPs

The EVP certification is getting more attention in solicitations. A recent DOE subcontract RFP contained the following under "Personnel Qualifications / Certifications":

  EVP Pin

"The minimum qualifications for subcontract personnel to perform this scope of work are as follows:


"Senior Subcontractor personnel shall meet the following minimum criteria:

*           Earned Value Professional Certification

*           Master's Degree in Project Management or Business Administration or other technical area   deemed acceptable

*           15 to 20 years of technical experience in development, application, and implementation of Earned Value Management Systems, Processes, Documents and Training.

*           10 years of experience in performing formal assessments of Earned Value Management Systems.

*           Citizen of the United States"



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What is EVM at the Sub-atomic Level, a Contest!

What is EVM at the subatomic level? OK, I know it provides project cost and schedule performance metrics. But digging deeper, what is the elemental essence of EVM in one sentence? I have an idea but I'd like your thoughts.


The most elemental and briefest description of EVM will be determined through a contest! The person who sends me the most concise and elemental description of EVM will receive "Ray Stratton's EVP Exam Study Guide". The winner's name and entry will be published in the October EVM Newsletter. Send your entry in an email to contest entry


The contest will end on 15 October 2011. 


Think deep and think short.


Image courtesy of Modern Language Association (MLA):

"subatomic particle." The American HeritageŽ Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 24 Aug. 2014.


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Quotable Quote

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."




 Carl Jung,

Swiss psychiatrist 


BLOCK4Tidbit #59, "Semper Gumby"

 "No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force." (Field Marshall Helmuth Carl Bernard Graf von Moltke (26 October 1800 - 24 April 1891)


Planning is critical, planning is necessary, and all plans contain assumptions that we find out later were just plain incorrect. Yet in the world of EVMS we create the baseline (PMB) as if we can predict the future. Yes, EVM gives us some wiggle room by using planning packages and management reserve. We also expect some variances or we question the EVM data itself. No one is that good at planning, or that lucky. But what about our basic project structures?


What if we find out our basic organizations or approach is wrong? Maybe our control accounts are in the wrong places.  Maybe our WBS is too detailed in one area, leading to extra administrative effort, while in another area it's too shallow. Maybe the organization we put in place (OBS) is no longer correct due to change orders, redistribution of work, or a corporate reorganization.


We need to recognize that as the project executes these fundamental structures may need changing just as like replanning a control account plan or distribution of management reserve.


The point is to keep the project structures and EVM baseline relevant to the current scope and optimized for the project within the corporate structure. Change the WBS if needed, change the OBS if needed, split or combine control accounts as needed.


Of course any of these changes need documentation, appropriate approvals, and retention of change history. But projects have enough challenges without fighting an inappropriate WBS, OBS, or incorrect control account placement. We have to remain flexible to changes and new knowledge. Semper Gumby. 



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Management Technologies Products & Services 
EVPrep and EVM Workshops

EVPrep 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).


"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?  

(Link :


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



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.


Where Can I Find More Tidbits?


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. 






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


9th ICEC World Congress

WHEN: 20-22 October 2014

WHERE: Milano Italy



PMI Global Congress 2014 - North America

WHEN: 26-28 October 2014

WHERE: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Integrated Program Management Conference (IPMC)
WHEN: 3-5 November 2014
WHERE: Bethesda MD


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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Augustine's Law #XIV on the Growth of Overhead and Bureaucracy

A while ago a large organization benchmarked several of their customer processing centers. They found one well performing center with remarkably few employees considering the workload. The center also had high marks from customers for their short processing times. As work arrived the employees would get work from the "IN" box, take care of it, and put in it the "OUT" box. The executives conducted a study to examine this site's process and true productivity. Their first step was to obtain metrics on the process. A person was hired to log the work as it arrived and departed.


Shortly thereafter the processing times grew to exceed that of the other centers. The panicked executives hired a consultant. After examining the process the consultant determined the source of the slowdown. Logging the work in and out through the one person was preventing the staff from getting work directly from the IN box. Their recommendation?


The firm should hire two additional employees to handle the logging of inbound

and outbound work. Now they had three employees they did not really need.


Law number XIV from Augustine's Laws Revised and Enlarged (Pub. 1983)  partially explains this. As the chart shows, as the number of direct individuals decreases, the size of the supporting labor pool expands to take up the slack. More and more people doing less and less.

Law # XIV state, "If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance."


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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).



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