Earned Value Management for Beginners

by Madhur Shah

Earned value management is a technique that integrates scope, cost and time to highlight how the project has done in the past and predict how it is expected to do in the future. This article discusses a few basic concepts of EVM and is useful for anyone looking to get started on this topic, as well as for candidates preparing for certification.

Topic Teasers Vol. 78: Breaking Stalemates

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA

Question: We are at a stalemate! Executives keep asking for more and more projects to be done, yet our resources do not have enough spare time to do them. We look bad, but when we say we don’t have enough time to do these requested projects, management doesn’t really “hear” us. I’m not officially a project manager, but is there any way I can step up and help my organization through this standoff?
A. If you are not a project manager, this is not your problem. Continue to do your daily work and spend whatever few hours a week you can working on projects as they are assigned by the boss of your department.
B. Ask to make a plea in the next executive meeting. When you present your case, let them know that everyone is too busy to do more projects and, realistically, it will a long time before the current ones are finished. It is important to set expectations.
C. Ask your immediate manager if you can work with your colleagues to try to capture the free time available for projects and then prepare information for him to present to the executives. In this way, you may be able to realistically show some options for moving forward with organizational projects.
D. Work to reduce the number of hours you spend on your current daily tasks so that you can focus more of your energy on important projects. Projects are the future, so they should be completed even if it is at the expense of the operational tasks that keep the company running in the present.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Project Task Duration Estimation and Scheduling

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

In this article, we look at the key to schedule success, historical and repeatable tasks, why schedules fail, how to eliminate the target date tango and build a schedule defense that manages the risks.

Last-Minute Project Rescue: Time Management Tips for Project Teams

by Andreas Tremel

What happens if your project is in danger of failing? More often than not, poor planning—particularly poor time management—causes projects to derail. The good news is that with proper time management, you can still turn things around and save your project.

The Art of the Estimate

by Stacy King

Early on in the career of a project manager, there are things known, things that are unknown and things that he or she doesn’t know they don’t know. And therein lies the dilemma of estimating. There is no perfect estimate, and this is where the foundational techniques of estimating bridge the existing estimating gap that exists between senior leadership and the project manager.

Effective Use of Kanban for Monitoring and Controlling Low-Complexity Projects in a High-Volume Project Environment

by M.W. Settlemire, PMP

Kanban is an effective tool for monitoring and controlling high-volume/low-complexity projects when the goal is to increase throughput, limit work in process (WIP), and measure flow in project environments. Implementation of this approach has the ability to reduce the project management team’s level of effort while optimizing resource utilization.

Divide and Direct

by Ronald B. Smith, PMP

Dividing your project into smaller parts that are more controllable helps you move closer to your ultimate goal: successfully achieving your project deliverables and high user satisfaction. Follow these seven tips to gain more direct control over your project.

Dynamic Project Management

by Pradeep Sangal

Large infrastructure project teams continuously struggle to manage several issues posed by the volatile environment of projects. It's time to develop a holistic and dynamic project planning and monitoring tool for the effective management of ever-changing project requirements and environments.

Crash Time Made Clearer

by Kathryn M. Senteney, Luis A. J. Borges

Project crash time is a method for shortening project duration by reducing the time of one or more critical project activities. Crash time is a difficult concept for a student who is newly learning project management, particularly when reducing several units of time. The author proposes a step-by-step, graphic approach utilizing a simple template that can be more easily understood than traditional methods.

Project Plan Reality Check

PREMIUM presentation

Before you submit your project plan for final approval, you'd better check it over. Learn the steps for cross-checking a project plan.

WBS Planning Worksheet

PREMIUM deliverable

There is a lot riding on your project's work breakdown structure. Use this worksheet to help you plan the WBS smarter and better.

List of Common Schedule Risks


This list and overview of common schedule risks will help you maintain vigilance against pitfalls that can interrupt, stop or ruin your software development project.

Effort-Based Project Forecasting Workbook

by George Jucan, MSc, PMP, OCP

The attached workbook is useful for these many projects out there where no costing data can be used--or is not available--so the classic Earned Value Technique cannot be applied. It provides not only a progress tracking mechanism but also effort based project forecasting based on the above consideration.

Project HEADWAY: Scheduling: What Comes First?

PREMIUM presentation
by Mark Mullaly, Ph.D., PMP

A lot of project management is wrapped up in the idea of scheduling. Many project management software packages put the management of schedule front and center; for some, it's all they really actually provide support for managing. Project management courses emphasize the ideas of managing the critical path, building Gantt charts and analyzing PERT networks. Much stress is created about project schedules, milestones, dependencies and deadlines.

Using Special Situation Estimating Techniques

PREMIUM presentation

If you don’t have any good metrics on which to base your estimates, what do you do? Reading tea leaves or dissecting the entrails of dead chickens won't cut it. This presentation will explain sound estimating techniques that really work.

Project Schedule Quality Control


Use this quality control checklist to identify all the ingredients of a healthy, flexible and dependable project schedule.

Project Schedule Risk Assessment

PREMIUM deliverable

How risky is your project schedule? This assessment template will help you catch scheduling risks and address them before they become problems.

PERT Effort Estimating Chart

by George Jucan, MSc, PMP, OCP

This sample template performs a PERT based estimation for a project when you provide quality estimates. The tool performs all the required calculations (including graphical display of the destribution and probability functions).

Developing a Schedule

PREMIUM presentation

If developing a schedule were easy, no project manager would ever have a problem with it. This presentation serves as a guide to the key points that must be mastered to develop realistic project schedules.

How to Estimate Effort and Duration

PREMIUM presentation

No one can predict the future, but you as project manager will be asked to estimate the duration of tasks. You can get yourself a crystal ball, read tea leaves, or download this presentation for some real help.

Calculating Earned Value


Earned value is a project technique you can use to monitor, track and report on the performance of any project. This document is a cheat-sheet of formulas you can use to confidently calculate earned value.


"If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."

- Chinese Proverb

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