Researching EVM Readiness

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

Earned value management is recognized within the project management domain as an effective cost and risk management technique. The formulas are not difficult to understand or calculate. If you can subtract and divide, then you can generate earned value metrics. On the Herding Cats blog, Glen recently wrote about the four simple activities to implement earned value management in Minimum Concepts of Earned Value Management. The article reinforces the importance of having a good project schedule, a time-phased budget for the work, a method to collect progress and a method to collect project costs. Microsoft Project supports earned value management and can generate SPI, CPI and a forecasted EAC with a few mouse clicks. If EV isn’t difficult to calculate, why isn’t it more prevalent?

According to Euhong Kim’s 2000 study on effective earned value management implementations, organizations have been challenged to implement EVM projects due to the “project managers’ lack of understanding of EVM, government-led centralized EVM implementations and the resulting lack of user participation, political conflict between project managers and project consulting groups (i.e. groups that initiate the adoption of EVM, distrust between government and contractors, and pressures to report only good news.” Based on the research, EVM isn’t difficult to …

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