The EVM Newsletter™ #66                                          March 2015
June EVP Workshop       Need LOE?       EVM World 2015      Happy Hens 



Welcome to the March EVM Newsletter.


Our EVPrep webinar series is underway and we provide information on the upcoming June webinar. There are changes to make it easier to fit the webinar workshop into busy lives.


The EVM + Agile anthology continues to interest the EVM and agile communities with a reprint in an international journal.


EVM World 2015 in rapidly approaching. If you have interest in Agile and EVM there are special sessions on the topic.


Do we need more LOE? No. Less is better. But our Tidbit, with a play on words, helps to answer the question of what to do when the LOE runs out and more support is needed. Yes, in that case you might need more LOE.


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Last month we showed how the definition of the "Penrose Conjecture", as mentioned on the Big Bang Theory, could only be understood by someone who probably already knows what it is. We used this as an example of how not to communicate EVM data and analysis to people unfamiliar with its terms and concepts.


A reader wrote: "Amen to your Big Bang example. I do something similar at DSMC and our senior PM students really identify with it. I use a picture of an onrushing elephant labeled with EVM terms to make the point. I used to say that the problem with math classes was that they were taught by mathematicians. Same can hold true for EVM."


If you missed the definition of the Penrose Conjecture, here it is again:

"Penrose conjectured that an inequality ....should hold for space like submanifolds of spacetimes that are not necessarily time-symmetric. In this case, nonnegative scalar curvature is replaced with the dominant energy condition, 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."


Got that?


We end with California's concern for happy hens. We should make sure our CAMs and PMs are just as happy.


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 UPDATE

Our first on-line four session EVPrep webinar is up and running. Based up the success of this first attempt we have scheduled the EVPrep four-session webinar series for June. 

To ease in scheduling attendee participation we are offering two repeating sessions each week. One is on Saturday at 9AM PDT (GMT -7) and the other is on Tuesday at 1 PM PDT (GMT -7). Participants can select either session each week to fit their other scheduled activities. So make that soccer (football) game, or that late Tuesday meeting, and still get all four sessions.


Saturday session: June 6, 13, 20, 27

Tuesday sessions: June 9, 16, 23, 30


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. 


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*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. 

Block2EVM and Agile Anthology Update

Last month I reported on the completion of the Agile + EVM Anthology and availability via the College of Performance Management.


The College, in cooperation with Project Management World Journal will have the anthology also reprinted in the Journal.



EVM World 2015 Highlights

EVM World is just around the corner! It is May 27- 29. This year it is in New Orleans. Fun, fun, fun.


An Agile and EVM practice symposium track is part of EVM World 2015. It will start with a Workshop (1:15 in length) on May 27 to set the stage for the Practice Symposia. The Symposia, which are 45 minute sessions, will occur in the afternoons of May 27 and May 28.  There are six agile related Practice Symposia.   

The first one is lecture oriented and will be an "Agile 101" session covering the core elements of Agile so that the other five sessions can dive into details and not recover those common core elements.  These five sessions are envisioned to be panel style discussions where the panelists share their solutions, thoughts, issues, best practices, lessons learned, etc.


I will participating the fifth practice symposium of the track "Measuring and Collecting Progress". If you attend please stop by and say "Hi".


Also, Management Technologies will be presenting our products and services in a Tools Track presentation. It will be held on May 27 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM. Come by, see the presentation, ask questions, get some ideas.                                                 


Quotable Quote


 In business as in life, your chances of being run over are doubled if you stay in the middle of the road."






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.


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BLOCK4Tidbit #66, More LOE Please

We don't like Level of Effort (LOE) work-in-process (WIP) {or earned value technique (EVT)} measures. It biases our schedule performance data toward an on schedule condition, regardless of whether we are ahead or behind schedule. Most people agree though that it is a necessary, but hopefully small part, of our overall project performance measurement.


LOE is acceptable for "support" tasks. For example, "engineering support to testing" may be a support task while the testing is underway and conducted by others. We don't know what support is needed, if any, but it should be anticipated, planned, and budgeted. Since its work is undefined we can't use a schedule of events or milestones to measure its progress, so it might use the LOE WIP measure. As LOE the EV (BCWP) is simply set to the PV (BCWS) at the end of each period - no schedule variance.


To be included in our baseline the support tasks must be a direct cost to the project. (Support provided via indirect costs or overhead is not in the baseline.) Support tasks are related to the tasks they support, meaning the planned duration of the LOE task is the same as the planned duration of the supported task.


We have a ten month discrete task and it has a related support task. The support task is therefore ten months too. So in planning the LOE support task we distribute its budget over ten months (not necessarily equally, though.) Each month the support task is supposed to be underway we record the EV equal to the PV; that's the LOE "rule". Costs are recorded too, of course.


So here is a potential problem. Our discrete task didn't start on time. So no support was needed. So we didn't task the support task and no costs were recorded. We still have to set EV equal to PV, but with no cost! We made "progress" on the support task since EV was recorded, but we spent zero. An interesting outcome and a likely a cause for some explanation.


Here is a second potential and more likely problem. The discrete task started on time so the LOE account also recorded EV and AC in support. At month ten the discrete work is not done, but all the LOE PV has been claimed as LOE EV. It appears there is no LOE left to do since the total EV equals the total PV (budget). The discrete work will continue on into month eleven and until its done. If the support effort was needed through month ten it is probably needed beyond month ten. So there will be LOE costs, and likely an overrun, but there is no PV left and no unclaimed EV. And we still have costs for the LOE support. We need more LOE to go with the added cost and extended period.


Or a better approach.


Apportioned Effort, that seldom used, misunderstood, EVT that is there for just this scenario. By substituting AE for LOE we can tie the progress and timeline of the support task to the discrete task. The EV for the LOE task will always be proportional to the progress on the discrete task and so all the LOE PV won't become EV until the discrete task is done.


So the next time you think LOE is the right WIP think also about Apportioned Effort. Then, when you need "more LOE" it will be there.



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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

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



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Block10Everyone Needs Wiggle Room


A new law in California is showing up on cartons of eggs. Eggs labeled "CA SEFS COMPLIANT" means the hens have enough room to lie, stand, turn around and spread their wings without touching their sister hens. Inspectors (at tax payer expense) check for compliance and issue misdemeanor tickets (to the rancher I assume) if needed. I guess happy hens make happy eggs.


Does your PM or CAMs have enough wiggle room? In one of the early issues of The EVM Newsletter I wrote about the triple constraint (TIME, SCOPE, and BUDGET). Each constraint has an affect on one or both of the others. Less time may mean more cost (staff) or reduced scope. More scope may mean more cost or time. And so on. Stakeholders must identify which of the three constraints is key, and allow the PM/CAM to miss the other two if needed to keep the key constraint commitment. The CAMs and PMs needs wiggle room too. 


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