Few of us set out to become project managers. Where formally developed skills are earned, they generally take the shape of process-based training. Taken as a whole, however, they don’t make up the full set of tools, skills and abilities that a project manager needs to survive--and thrive--in the long term. Thankfully, this well-considered guide to life skills for project managers is here to help.
There is one aspect of project management where it's rare to find any consistency at all within PMOs: project financials. Let’s look at some of the different options and see if we can figure out some models that might work effectively.
CMMI provides several models that organizations can use to identify best practices and organizational improvements. Studying the maturity models and researching earned value management readiness reveals a series of baby steps for organizations to adopt EVM.
In his practice, the author has encountered project managers who, resistant to change and primarily concerned with successful delivery of their project, have resisted the adoption of Earned Value Management (EVM) practices. He explains the importance of EVM for cost control and demystifies EVM tools, with examples using Microsoft Project® and the open source tool, OpenPPM.
The challenge addressed in this article is that of using earned value in an IT project of less than US$20 million with multiple solution partners, fixed cost contracts, no labor cost data, and an 18-month deadline. The discussion presents an example of an innovative use of a research and development (R&D)–based earned value technique. The software project overview is presented, traditional earned value reviewed, the derivation of the R&D approach is discussed, and the article closes with a look at the organizational benefit of the technique.
Motivating an organization to incorporate earned value into their culture is an exercise in change management. Effectively managing change isn't an easy process--and rolling out EVA throughout an organization can be challenging. Applying the following change management activities to your EVA implementation can help improve its adoption.
Earned Value Management is not just fuzzy math, but you need to help people understand it. The problem is not in the math itself, but in the difficulty of explaining EVM to stakeholders who don’t understand the numbers and what they mean. How do you sell EVM to your stakeholders without focusing on the math? Here we look at EVM for the masses.
The author presents a practical approach for the application of earned value focused on better project scope definition and project plan creation, both based on results. Project progress is credited only if deliverables are completed or milestones are achieved, increasing the objectivity of project performance measurement and probability of success.
Earned value analysis is the key to assessing your project health and applying metrics to manage your project. So why do only a few project manager's understand EVA and actually apply it to their projects? This is the first in a six-part series on EVA, providing an introduction into EVA in an easy-to-understand format.
This article focuses on an easy-to-use implementation of earned value management (EVM) and, specifically, cost performance index and estimation at completion - Cost side by side with the Critical Chain Method. The EVM implementation gives a comprehensive answer for budget management and budget report requested by the project sponsor.
Former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli is credited as saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” To this we clearly might also arguably add a fourth: earned value. Here we explain its three deadly sins--those of omission, commission and deception.