Earned Value Management in „The Measurable News 2016.04“

The Measurable News ist die vierteljährliche Publikation des „College of Performance Management“. Das College of Performance Management (CPM) ist eine globale, gemeinnützige Organisation und konzentriert sich auf die sich auf die Entwicklung und Verbreitung der Prinzipien und Praktiken von Earned Value Management (EVM) und andere Management-Techniken der Projektleistung und des Projektcontrollings.

In der neusten Ausgabe 2016.04 (PDF 4MB) sind mehrere interessante Artikel, speziell zu Earned Value Management, aber auch zum Projekt-Risikomanagement publiziert.

CPM Measurable-News-4-16 Earned Value Management, Performance Management

TOP 10 EVM Agile and EVM Practice Concepts

(Page 15) The “top 10” concepts discussed at EVM World 2016, based on industry experience as of June 2016 are below. Still in 2016, the most common response still seems to start with “well, it depends”. As the concepts below are applied to the program being executed, remember, everything “depends” on the contractual requirements and the customer’s experiences and expectations. Be agile.

Here is the Summary of the Top 10+1:

  1. Agile and EVM work together. Both are disciplined process sets that start with a plan (for example an Agile Product Roadmap and an IMP).
  2. Establish the Agile approach for the program early. What is the product hierarchy? (System, Capability, Epic, Feature, Story, Task). Will all Control Accounts utilize an Agile methodology? Establish traceability between the Agile and EVM hierarchy for the functions and control accounts being executed in an agile manner.
  3. Engage the product owner (the person who “owns” the business value) early and often during the planning/discovery sessions. Do not commit to deliver more than required on the contract. Since customer collaboration and frequent feedback loops are crucial to Agile, determine the level of customer involvement
  4. The Agile process is disciplined. Teams tend to estimate or size the user stories optimistically in the beginning. Their velocity will normalize over time, as they continue working together.
  5. Consider the corporate culture with regard to both the Agile process maturity and the Corporate EVMSD. In 2016, teams and companies continue to underestimate the impact of the corporate culture and maturity level of embracing Agile and EVM processes.
  6. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) MIL-STD-881 standard provides product oriented templates and guidance. Establish a WBS structure that is best for the contract. Is Software the mission product? A product oriented WBS is important;
    adapt and tailor it accordingly to facilitate and report measuring product completion.
  7. Plan and schedule the feature and / or the functionality to be delivered, not the Agile recurring time cadence for performing work. Don’t include “sprints” or other time box “iterations” because they don’t represent technical accomplishment.
  8. In the EVMSIG, the term „freeze period“ is discussed as being „a period of time when baseline changes are limited.“ This period of time exists in order to ensure stability of the baseline plan for accomplishing the contractual scope of work and to facilitate accurate performance measurement. The primary intent of any freeze period is to maintain forward planning discipline and the integrity of the baseline for performing the work.
  9. Use the Agile process and EVM together as an approach to control scope. For government application, always have a mapping of the items in the Agile Product Backlog to contract requirements. Each feature in the Product Backlog has a distinct set of both acceptance and exit criteria as defined to deliver the contractual scope.
  10. User stories are commonly used in Agile development as the detailed steps that implement a particular feature. Stories describe how the acceptance criteria for the Feature is being completed / accomplished. Because completing stories results in technical accomplishment, the stories that implement a feature can be used as quantifiable backup data (QBD) to measure progress.
  11. Initial estimation and control account forecast assessments should be conducted based upon the individual Agile team in question and generalizations should be avoided, where possible.

Agile and EVM work together. Both are disciplined process sets that start with a plan

Problems with Schedule Practice

(Page 19) This article will briefly look at the three major problem areas affecting scheduling practice. Here a short summary:

  1. The first is most organisations and managers simply choose to ignore the project schedule, in part because they have never worked with a good schedule produced and maintained by an effective scheduler (they don’t know what they are missing) and in part because of lax governance from the executive levels allowing the bad practice.
  2. The second is the inverse of the first – managers and lawyers failing to understand the purpose and limitations of scheduling and setting unrealistic expectations.
  3. The third is schedulers who know how to develop massively complicated files in various software tools, but have no idea what purpose and limitations of scheduling should be.

Getting it Right – Root Cause Analysis of Why Many DOD Programs Fail to Deliver

(Page 22) Far too many DOD programs fail to deliver promised capabilities within the planned cost and development schedules. This article gives an overview why many DOD programs fail to deliver required capabilities within the planned time and budget. It starts with the buyer not knowing what “done looks like” before releasing the Request for Proposal (RFP). These are corrected with better guidance for preparing Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, and Key
Performance Parameters in the RFP.

Root causes for this imbalance have been studied for years. Major reasons for “not getting it
right” include:

  • Poor initial requirement definition
  • Changes in quantity requirements
  • Errors due to limitation is estimating procedures
  • Failure to fund programs at most likely cost
  • Failure to understand and account for technical risks
  • Top down pressure to reduce estimates
  • Lack of valid independent cost estimates
  • Over optimism
  • Schedule concurrency
  • Program stretch outs to keep production lines open
  • Funding instabilities caused by trying to fund too many programs
  • Funding instabilities caused by congressional decisions
  • Inefficient production rates due to stretching out programs
  • Failure to fund for management reserves

You can read further in this interesting article about a list of causes published in a recent report by the DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) Office of Program Assessment and Root Cause Analysis (PARCA) and the „The Art of Problem Solving

Building Risk Tolerance Into the Program Plan and Schedule

(Page 29) Managing the uncertainty in a network of tasks that describe a schedule is the topic of this paper. There are six steps for building a risk-tolerant schedule from field experience in aerospace, defense, and largeconstruction projects.

The hope that risk can be „programmed“ out of the project schedule is a false hope. However, we can manage uncertainties by understanding the risk types and the uncertainties that create these risks, and addressing each in an appropriate manner.

The Article describes:

  • Risk Management Structure used for developing the Risk Tolerant schedule and the risk management process areas from the basic of an integrated management approach
  • Risk Buy-Down Activities
  • Identifiying the Risk Mitigation Task in the Plan
  • Steps in Building a Risk Tolerant Plan

This is an extensive article for all who intend to expand their project risk management knowledge.

Integrating Systems Engineering With Earned Value Management (Part 2)

(Page 36) In February 2004, a new U.S. DoD Policy for Systems Engineering (SE) called for SE to provide the integrating technical processes to define and balance system performance, cost, schedule, and risk. In May 2004, the DoD magazine, Defense AT&L, published my article as a best practice, “Integrating SE with Earned Value Management (EVM).” It stated that
Program Managers (PM) should require contractors to adhere to industry standards for SE engineering processes and base EV on technical performance measures (TPM). This has not yet happened.

This article describes key exerpts from 2004 AT&L Article, Excerpts from DoD SE Policy and EVM Report and recent government assessment as well as DoD instructions, Practice and Guides.


Die The Measurable News 2016.04 (4MB) bringen wieder eine Fülle von hochstehendem Projektmanagement-Wissen aus der Praxis. Hier findet sicher wieder jeder etwas was er noch lernen kann, sei es aus dem Bereich Earned Value Management, Schedule oder Risk Management.

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