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The EVM Newsletter™ #61                                       October 2014

TopThe Integrated Program Management Conference, or Integrated Program Management Workshop, depending, is just around the corner. Whether it's IPMC or IPMW, it's the place to be if you can spell and explain:








If you can't spell and explain these term, but everyone around you can, then you should definately attend.


If you are there and see me please say "hi". There are over 3000 subscribers to The EVM Newsletter; most of whom I have never met.


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This Newsletter points readers to and interesting book and video that some of the key EVM researchers have put together. It's an interesting story of about ten years of work and research into EVM's newer developments.


ANSI 748 is pretty clear. It say what you have to do to perform EVM, not how to do it. So we describe a troubling trend where potential customers are adding a "how".


Ever get in a car as a passenger and suddenly realize that the driver is not the one you want driving? We have some ideas on what to look for in deciding if the PM is a risk. You also might want him/her to drive you to lunch, and then decide if that's the PM for you.


EVM Europe is on sabbatical. After five annual EVM Europe conferences the organizers are taking some time off. EVM Europe will be back.


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 




Forcing a Management Scheme

A recent RFP stated a requirement to establish control accounts at level 5 of the WBS. Actually it only asked for cost and schedule variances to be computed at level 5. But ANSI 748 only requires variance calculations at the control account level. Thus effectively the RFP forced control accounts at level 5.

This is imposing a management scheme on the contractor and is not consistent with ANSI 748. Here is what the forward to ANSI 748 says...


"Different organizations must have the flexibility to establish and apply a management system that suits their management style and business environment. The system must, first and foremost, meet the organization's needs and good business practices."


Section 2 of ANSI 748, the Guidelines, also states that "These guidelines are expressed in fundamental terms and provide flexibility for each organization to optimize its system and be fully accountable for the effectiveness of its usage."


In the RFP Level 3 of the CWBS had 24 elements. The requirement was to, in effect, have control accounts at level 5.

Assume each CWBS element had 2 children. Two is minimum since there is no point in further decomposition if there is only one child WBS element. Now we are at level 4 with 48 WBS elements. Each Level 4 WBS must have at least 2 children too. So now we are at 96 control accounts. 

Good grief!  More budget will likely be spent on administering 96 control accounts than the cost of the products produced!


When your customer asks you to follow ANSI 748, and then asks for detail or is otherwise in conflict with ANSI 748 just ask them what other parts of the ANSI 748 should be ignored.


 BLOCK5A Passion for PM

Do you love project management? Most PMs must consider the career risks involved and the seemingly uncontrollable circumstances, and they still want to be PMs. A newly publish book "The Art of Project Management - A Story about Work and Passion" is now available and written by well-known PM and EVM researcher Mario Vanhoucke.


According to the author "The book contains stories about friendship, ideas, hard work and results on Project Management. It gives you a look into the endeavors done in the past and ideas for the future. It tells about the products and ideas of OR-AS and gives you a brief overview of the most important people who inspired the OR-AS products. It tells about work, and the passion that has led to the results of the hard work. It's not a scientific book. It isn't a managerial book either. It's just a story ... about work and passion." (OR-AS is a for profit EU firm that produces project management tools and services.)


Do you prefer the movies over books? See "When a PM meets an Academic" article below.


(Note: The graphics in The EVM Newsletter come from an Internet search. Upon searching for "passion" much of the graphics were, well, graphic. I try to keep this family friendly.)


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Time is Running Out on the "Essence of EVM Contest"


Our contest for the most concise statement describing the essence of EVM closes on 15 November.  


Think of distilling EVM down to its most basic element(s).


The goal is not about how to sell EVM or what it does. The goal is the answer to the question, "How is EVM different from other project performance methods." If you have already emailed your entry you can send in a new one. The last one received will be used. The winner gets a free copy of our EVP Study Guide (worth $65). The contest ends 15 November.

Send your entry in an email to contest entry


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Quotable Quote


The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.



George Bernard Shaw 


BLOCK4Tidbit #61, Avoiding Risky /Project Program Managers

This Tidbit is a little off the mark as an EVM tidbit, but hopefully still of value.


As I have often noted there are a tremendous number of similarities between piloting a project as a project manager and piloting an aircraft. So when FLYING magazine published an article "Pilots Who Should Scare Us" to help spot risky pilots, I got to thinking. Are there habits that should help us spot risky project managers?


How many of know a project manager who had a project fail? 


How many times did this come as no surprise?


Flying, or running a project, has inherent risk. Risks left unmanaged are unacceptable.


Dr. Bill Rhodes, former head of the US Air Force Academy philosophy department, wondered if he could define behaviors that should scare the pilot community. He had pilots fly simulators. Some pilots "killed" themselves. What habits did they exhibit?


Do you exhibit these habits? Does the project manager you work for exhibit these habits? Does the project manager who works for you exhibit these habits?

  • Overly optimistic about risk events not occurring and lower consequences, and leaving no extra margin
  • Avoiding doing planning and preparation, and in a hurry to get going and get to end quickly
  • A know-it-all who is not open to learning more
  • Extreme self-confidence
  • Lack of humility, ethics, and responsibility toward others 
Next month, attributes of less risky PMs.  
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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.


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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  that lists each topic or theme. The link is on all our web pages as well. 



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Conferences and Events


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

2014 Southern California AACE Fall Symposium

WHEN: 7-9 November 2014

WHERE: San Diego Hilton Bayfront, 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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EVM and Agile Presentation

As in the past two years the topic of EVM and Agile development will be a track at the Integrated Program Management Conference/Workshop in Bethesda MD. agile


A year ago I formed a volunteer group to produce a body of knowledge on applying EVM to Agile development and Agile Development to EVM. The group has worked hard and at this conference I will be presenting a Practice Symposium on the key content of our 45+ page document. Please plan to attend the IPMC and stop by if this subject interests you. See you Monday November 3rd at 2:30.

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When a Project Manager Meets an Academic....

...research meets practice. 


At least that the main theme of a twelve minute video that describes the ten year's collaborative research by Vanhoucke and Vandevoorde at the Ghent University Operations Research and Scheduling Group. 


This team has investigated earned schedule, created a project network simulation tool, and showed earned schedule  (ES) to outperform other estimated completion date methods, schedule risk assessment, use of ES and schedule risk assessment for schedule control, schedule adherence, effective earned value, and statistical project control.



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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.


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 are marks of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, International. (AACE).



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