This post demystifies via a simple scenario the practical application of EVA. An ideal post to read for beginners to the subject.
If you are not sure what Earned Value Analysis is and why it is important then click on the following posts:-
Many Project Managers undertake earned value analysis everyday without realising it. For example a quick project performance health checks often compare the percentage of project time used against the percentage of budget spent. If they match then the project is supposed to be OK! The other unwitting use of EVA is the Budget vs. Actual performance indicator.
EVA is nothing new!
Posted by Kevin Brady on Thu 21st February 2008 at 07:07 PM, Filed in PMO, Key Articles
The Final Verdict
A well known management consultancy house recently asked me review of their existing portfolio of PMO executed programmes of work with the objective of developing the following artefacts :-
- A PMO vision statement
- Development of a standardised out-of-the-box PMO execution blueprint (covering set-up /operational roadmap) capable of being reused and executed on all future large scale programmes of work.
- Revise, and update where necessary, all process definitions /procedures which would be used to execute a standardised PMO Blueprint.
This consultancy really seemed to have connected with the whole concept of how PMO’s could be used as a powerhouse of efficiency and profitability on large scale programmes of work.
This is a question, which I have rarely seen properly answered in any PRINCE II manual.
As with many things in life, the theory and the practical application of a concept are often two distinct sides of the same coin, which can lead to some serious difficulties. Over the years, I have audited many projects /programmes of work and most, if not all, of those which were subsequently discovered to be failures were characterised by poor /non-existent risk & issue management.
More often than not the project /programme managers responsible for these process failures, when challenged, refuse to accept that they had been running a project /programme of work with little, if any, risk and issue management present.
• What is Timeboxing?
For those newbie’s to IT Project Management, Time boxing is where a group of tasks are given a fixed period of time to be completed. Time Boxing is often used in project management, not just to set the delivery goals for small groups of tasks, but rightly or wrongly to set the delivery date for entire projects /programmes of work.
• Different Timeboxing techniques
The “Top Down” setting of a Timebox is where management dictates what product is produced - where, how, when and with what resource.
“Top Down” is often used at project level by sponsors /clients wanting to set a delivery date for a project of specified scope /quality /cost.
Usually no attempt is made to discover whether such a project is feasible other than a “gestimate” by the senior management and sponsor. At project level I have never seen a top down timebox plan work to time without significant stripping out of scope and quality. Often the descoping has been so aggressive that very often the IT system delivered has failed to remotely achieve its original business case objectives.
I promise in the next few weeks to concentrate on other subjects other than AGILE and its deficiencies, but my readership statistics show that AGILE is a popular subject. I also feel I have to keep up with my protagonists comments, which are appearing not just on my blog but all over the net.
At the moment, the net is buzzing with AGILE evangelist websites and Blogs making statements like “the AGILE manifesto is the equivalent to Newton 4th Law of Motion”. When someone takes a fanatical belief in anything without proper empirical evidence you have got to start thinking!!. Please see my post Storm in a Tea Cup. I really think these evangelists do not expect us to engage our brains. They think if they keep repeating the common look-up list of humorous slogans about AGILE’s invincibility, we will all be conditioned into turning a blind eye to the detail and asking for verifiable and independent evidence concerning this approach’s claimed scalability and prowess over other methods /approaches. At the moment the whole IT methods industry from Waterfall to RUP to AGILE and SCRUM is in need of consolidation based on some sound independent research. As we speak, large corporations take huge “flip flop” financial gambles adopting this method over another, largely based on the word of lightweight fee-earning consultants.