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Topics: Earned Value Management, Using PMI Standards
Do you use EVM in your daily work?

I've studied EVM and the examples that are provided in the various texts make sense, as they are very simple. One thing that I still struggle with is the whole, % complete. I've found that even in EVM you need to calculate the % complete to understand the actual work completed. With a complex project how do you do this at a high level and still remain accurate?
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I am using EVM and ESM. What I use is the predictors calculations to understand if current tendencies remains how we will at the end of the project.

Daniel -

Accuracy in determine the work completed relative to what was supposed to be completed by a given point in time usually requires a detailed work breakdown structure. The exception is when we are dealing with physical deliverables where you can accurately quantify percentage complete.

The approach of using the size of your remaining backlog and actual velocity to determine how many sprints are left is an adapted form of EVM for projects following an agile delivery approach.


hey 30+ years of projects I have seen EVM used once.

I think EVM may be like the 'difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control' (see Mark Mulallay's latest article).

I get asked about using EVM every interview. Once I explain only one firm, HP, has ever gotten near using it, the interviewer says " Yea, we never use it either, just wondering."

Often people play the EVM game without ever really using the data in an effective way, especially the % complete part. Team after team will report out on how their project is 3 months behind schedule, but every single line item has a SPI of 1.00000. That means all they're doing is using a spreadsheet to calculate where they should be, and entering that into whatever EVM tool is being used.

I have seen a few cases where it gets generated automatically at the completion of project deliverables. This works to measure the overall project and whether things have completed on time if you have a lot of deliverables but it doesn't tell you whether your upcoming deliverables are on plan, so the predictive capability is bad. That can be solved by breaking large deliverables into smaller trackable tasks, but the downside is you spend more time working the metrics than you do on the underlying tasks.

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