Ensuring EVM Accuracy
Earned value management helps you gauge your actual progress toward completion, but the actual work completed calculations are accurate only if work teams follow the earnings rules when they report progress. (For those of you new to EVM, earnings rules are the rules used to objectively and consistently define what project tasks are currently started, completed or perhaps in some other intermediate state.) It is important to oversee this element because there are often advantages for reporting progress inaccurately. Two reporting tactics potentially used by work teams show how subjective definitions can skew your progress data: maximizing early starts and putting off difficult tasks.
- Maximizing Early Starts: Leaders of work team may want to show that many of their work items are in progress quickly. One advantage of this is that they gain the trust of the project manager and stakeholders and fend off unwanted supervision. For example, the technical writing team may want to show most of the documents for the new system documentation are already in progress within a couple of weeks of start. (We’ve got 80% in progress already, so there’s no reason to look over our shoulder!) Unfortunately, few words may have been added to any of these documents and the progress report suggests more progress has been made than you would be comfortable with.
- Putting Off
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