The EVM Newsletter™ #65                                       February 2015
EVP Exam Prep       Delegation       Listen UP!      Huh??        Free Anthology  


Here is the February issue of the EVM Newsletter.


We have resumed our Earned Value Professional (EVP) EVPrep Workshop. It's now an on-line instructor led webinar of four session, four hours each, over four weeks. More detail is below.


We were also awarded the Constant Contact ALL STAR award for the fifth year. This acknowledges our efforts to communicate regularly, exceed normal email "open" rates, have minimal email bounces, and compliance with the U.S. CAN SPAM act.


The EVM +AGILE Anthology that was mentioned last month is now available - for free! We tell you more about the document and how you can get it. Did I mention it was "free"?


Our Tidbit is a caution on avoiding "reverse delegation."


The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) has updated "A Guide to Managing Programs Using Predictive Measures". This new version discusses the use of earned schedule and other predictive tools. 
Get it.


Like us on Facebook

View our profile on LinkedIn

Two short articles address communication. 


A five minute Air New Zealand video show how to make the boring interesting. Got any ideas for making your EVM briefing more interesting?


And "The Big Bang Theory" TV program led to an example how an explanation of a complex topic, such as briefing your project status using EVM data, can be lost on the audience. 


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 




EVP™ Exam Prep Webinars

We are pleased to announce that the EVPrep™ Exam Prep Seminars have resumed. They are now offered as a series for four 4-hour webinars over a four week period. Attendees also receive a copy of our EVPrep Study Guide at the close of the final session.


Some EVPs have said that the EVP exam is the most difficult

project management certification exam they have taken. The overall pass rate varies around 54%. Past attendee's reported exam results have shown that attending the EVPrep workshop results in a statistically higher likelihood of passing the EVP exam on the first try compared with the overall results reported by AACE.


We have two four-week sessions planned. 

  • 18, 21, 28 March, 4 April (Saturdays) at 0900 PDT (12 EDT, UTC -7). 
  • 11, 18, 25 June; 2 July (Thursdays) 1300 PDT (4PM EDT, UTC -7)

The cost for the sixteen hour instructor led webinar series is $495, which is $300 less that our previous public in-person workshops. Attendees may apply to PMI for 16 PDUs. See our PDU Guarantee*. 


Details and registration. 


 ^ Back to top ^


*PDUCategory B PDUs may be claimed by those who attend all sessions. Management Technologies guarantees PMI's acceptance of our training as a source of PDUs. If PMI challenges your claim for Category B PDUs from our training we will provide all support and documentation requested by PMI. Should PMI deny a PDU claim for our training we will refund fees paid upon receipt of PMI documentation. 


A long ago EVM Tidbit suggested that we should not use EVM terms with audiences unless they a familiar with EVM terms and concepts. We need to make the effort to tell our story in a way that can be understood by all our stakeholders, not just EVMers. 


I was reminded of this point while watching The Big Bang Theory. The lead character, Sheldon Cooper, mentioned working on the "The Penrose Conjecture".  I jumped on-line to see if it was just a Hollywood-ism or did such a subject exist? It does. Here is the explanation:


"Penrose conjectured that an inequality ....should hold for spacelike submanifolds of spacetimes that are not necessarily time-symmetric. In this case, nonnegative scalar curvature is replaced with the dominant energycondition, and one possibility is to replace the minimal surface condition with an apparent horizon condition. Proving such an inequality remains an open problem in general relativity, called the Penrose conjecture."


Right. Did you get that?


Is that what you sound like when briefing your EVM data and your analysis  to your stakeholders. Do you just express your briefing using SPI, CPI, TCPI, EACs MR, BCWS, BCWP, CAMS, BCAs, WADs, ACWP, UB, BAC, SV, CV, ES, SPI(t), TAB, and AUW? ("What did he/she say?") Do you add any insight? Explanations for the general public's understanding? 


Can you make it easier to follow? For example, replacing the budget axis on S curves with a percent (of budget) axis helps. One does not need to study EVM to understand the status of a project that has completed 45% of the work when 54% was planned to be done and 60% of the budget has been spent.


A briefing does not mean communication has taken place.




If you travel a lot it's hard to stay interested in the airline pre-takeoff safety briefing. By starting with "how to fasten a seat belt" they immediately lose a lot of listeners. (Might be better to start with "If all the air suddenly leaves the plane....").


Air New Zealand has solved that problem. At least for those travelling to or from Middle Earth. Here is a 5 minute video.
Now that we have your attention
Now that we have your attention
Quotable Quote


If you ain't the lead dog......

the view never changes."





  Lead Dog Ale, Yukon Brewing Company, Whitehorse, YT

Management Technologies Products & Services 
EVPrep and EVM Workshops

EVPrep Exam Prep Workshop


This on-line or on-site workshop series covers all the topics likely covered in the exam and prov


ides 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?  



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.


^Back to top^


BLOCK4Tidbit #65, Beware of Reverse Deligation

You're a pretty good project manager and you've got the best technical people you can find on your team. You made the most senior ones CAMs. They bring you the technical skills and knowledge that will bring the product to your customer. You are respected by both the customer and your team.  


Then one day one of your CAMs asks you if he/she should go with technical option A or B. What do you do?  Nothing!


If you make the decision you are stripping the technical leader of their delegated power over technical decisions in their area of expertise. Their expertise is exactly why you selected them to be part of your team, to keep you out of technical problems.  In a large project your skill is in project management, theirs is in deep technical knowledge.


Why did the technical leader come to you in the first place? They respect your authority as project manager and sought your advice in this technical area.  After all you are the project manager! Maybe you are flattered that they would even ask you. (You may have been an engineer before you turned project manager.) Maybe you like to make all project decisions. Or, they may not have felt empowered to make the decision; a problem you really need to fix.


What if you make the decision?


Now any downstream problems you have created is due to you, not the technical team. The decision you delegated to them as a CAM has been delegated back to you, the PM.  Reverse delegation.


So when do you need to act?  When the technical team can't agree. You need to break the deadlock. Or if one approach has more risk than another you need to make the decision since you manage project risk. Get as educated as possible from your technical team, weigh the possible outcomes and risks, and make the decision.  The project was stalled and you had to make the best decision you could and now you've removed the risk from the technical team and put it on your shoulders. You acted when action was needed, and assumed the risk for the team.  


The good news is that you have advanced from demonstrating management skills to showing leadership.

 ^ Back to top ^
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. 





 ^ Back to top ^


Conferences and Events

WHAT:  Project Governance and Controls Symposium 2015

WHEN:  6-7 May 2015

WHERE: UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra



WHAT:  EVM World 2015

WHEN:  27-29 May 2015

WHERE: New Orleans, LA



 ^ Back to top ^


EVM+AGILE Anthology Available Now

As I mentioned in the January EVM Newsletter I was pleased to lead a team of EVM and Agile experts toward the production of a document to collect their experience and concepts. This effort was undertaken while I was on the board of the College of Performance Management (CPM) and is considered as their product. They have made it available for download as their first 2015 issue of The Measurable News. If you are not a CPM member or part of the LinkedIn "EVM Group" you might have missed the announcement. Here it is.


"CPM has published a compendium on the Integration of Agile and Earned Value Management (EVM). The compendium is a special issue of the Measurable News gathering seven years of work by multiple authors. The Agile + EVM material is edited by Ray W. Stratton, PMP, EVP, and is being offered at no cost as a contribution to the advancement of the field. The compendium is available free online.


"'The integration and/or alignment of Agile management practices with Earned Value Management (EVM) and traditional project scheduling practices is a hot topic for the foreseeable future,' said Mr. Dale Gillam, Vice President for Research and Standards of CPM. 'This strengthened framework, built on generally accepted best practices, will aid Project Manager's ability to deliver success and to tell a Project's story.' "


"The Compendium includes the following articles from industry thought leaders and practitioners:


  •  WHY AN AGILE APPROACH NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT; by Luis C Contreras, AzTech International LLC (
  •  AGILE TERMINOLOGY; by Howard Zillman, Northrup Grumman
  • TO GENERATE EV METRICS; by Eric Christoph, PMP, EVP, L-3 Communications STRATIS
  •  LOCKHEED MARTIN GOLD CARD - EVM for Agile Development; courtesy of LMCO
  •  BASELINE CHANGE CONTROL AND AGILE; by Ron Terbush, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Information Systems & Global Solutions
  •  AGILE AND EVM ROLES; by Andrea Nibert, Leidos
  •  CONNECTING EVM WITH AGILE; by Multiple Authors

 "The topics have come from years of presentations, meeting and discussion at EVM World , the International Integrated Program Management Workshop and other meetings. The Measurable News is the quarterly publication of the College of Performance Management."


Get the Anthology.


 ^Back to top^