Project Management

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Topics: Earned Value Management, Estimating, Financial Services, Using PMI Standards
In an organizational culture where project finances are base don flat resource allocations over a project, how can we perform EVM when work performed is different from resource costs charged to a pro
Project resources are assigned based on a flat allocation, e.g. 30% over the course of the project by functional managers. Resources are charged the flat rate monthly by the finance department to the project cost centers. The issue is when resources do not actually perform 30% allocation of work the EVM is not possible to calculate and projects often get delayed. Apart from detail task-based resource assignments and submitting costs based on actual work, what other possible methods can be used to attempt to resolve this challenge?
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Without actually assigning estimated hours to deliverables/ activities, how then do you even know that they are not achieving 30% of the work? That is if I understood your question correctly. Without as you stated assigning hours to the tasks, there is no way then to apply EVM. We have the same issue. We do not track hours as no one submits timesheets as part of the internal project staff. The "PMO" costs are tracked (salaries, benefits, training, accomodations, travel, etc), but not "measured". EVM comes into play in what we call the "Implementation" Phase, or product delivery phase. Our contractor(s), are required to track all costs including "staff overhead", but again these costs are typically treated as "fixed" LOE. EVM has its place in a production environment IMHO
If the resources are charged at a flat rate whether or not they are working on the project, then CPI is always 1.0 because you are spending on plan regardless of whether anyone even shows up to work.

SPI is more difficult and requires more judgement but it is not impossible. If you believe that you are not meeting progress goals, then something is telling you that. I see this often early in product development when schedules are very rough, teams are forming, and SMEs are experimenting and doing research. Peoples' time is not associated to specific tasks however.

You need to set up some goals or milestones of what work you expected by that point, and then as the PM, you are coordinating with the teams to find out whether or not they are proceeding on plan. If they are, you can put them as SPI 1. If they are ahead or behind, you can adjust that. If you have multiple groups, you can break them up into percentages.

The struggle with that is people may not trust your numbers. I often see people claim SPI of 1 in those situations, when that is nowhere close to reality.
Thanks for the input! I am glad to know that I am not the only one facing this challenge. On the PMO front, we are attempting to mix both suggestions by tracking the cost based on an "estimated work completed", since there are no timesheets tracking for internal staff that can be leveraged across all projects consistently.

I have found in a number of business verticals that finance and PMO often diverge on a method to cost planning and monitoring.
You don't need time sheets to do EVM in this scenario. All you need is to assign a percentage of completion to an activity, a work package or a milestone.

You can make it easy on yourself and use a simple scale of 0%, 50% and 100% for, respectively, not started, in progress and completed. (Milestones should only be 0% or 100%.)

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