Project Management

Top 10 Questions for 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

In 2008, I completed a study on earned value management readiness based on 40 critical success factors found in successful earned value management implementations. The study collected responses from project managers across the PM community and presented a set of assessment statements that were used to determine earned value management readiness. The project managers in the study provided feedback on the assessment statements and their usefulness in determining earned value readiness in their own organizations. The assessment statements were ranked according to their usefulness in determining EVM readiness.

The top 10 in order of priority are:

1. The PM staff demonstrates the ability to develop project schedules and track against a baselined schedule as evidenced by project schedule baseline and actual variances, milestone counts and late task counts.

This assessment statement isn’t a surprise, as having a strong competency on schedule development and schedule management is critical for an EVM implementation. A poorly defined project schedule will still be a poorly defined schedule even if you try to apply earned value metrics against it. By focusing on the core competency of schedule development and scheduling tracking, project managers are establishing a critical success factor for EVM.

2. The management supports EVM and provides a top-down direction …

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I see where one young boy has just passed 500 hours sitting in a treetop. There is a good deal of discussion as to what to do with a civilization that produces prodigies like that. Wouldn't it be a good idea to take his ladder away from him and leave him up there?

- Will Rogers