The EV Foundation

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

Earned value. What is it about the concept that sends some people into a near-frenzied state? It’s like they just found a cure for a corporate disease and they run back to their companies to start purporting earned value from the highest PMOs. It’s in the hope that it will be adopted on all projects--tomorrow. Sigh…don’t get me wrong. I like earned value and I think it’s a great concept and can be a very powerful performance measure on projects. However, I also know there are several considerations that need to be in place before it can ever be adopted by a PM on a single project, let alone by an organization on all of its projects.

The first consideration is the project management maturity of your organization. I am not talking about doing a full-blown organizational assessment, but as a project manager you can probably identify how well your organization adopts and supports good project management practices. The organization needs to be on the road to maturity. In fact, before earned value can be implemented successfully, it must be well on the path to maturity. Trying to implement earned value too early is like laying carpet over a basement floor that has just been poured: It will wreck the carpet and cause problems with the foundation, putting your job as a carpet installer in jeopardy.

Earned value requires a solid PM foundation …

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"If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man."

- Chinese Proverb