My big thanks to the coronavirus lockdown that provided me with an undisturbed opportunity to put together this 104 page booklet on Earned Value Management, interrupted only by my too frequent visits to the pantry and fridge, and occasional local walk with my wife Esmeralda and Robbie the dog, both of whom seemed to tolerate this writing foolishness. You can access this free book here, although I suspect it will have less than stellar appeal and probably not a riveting bedtime story for everyone.
Hofstadter’s Law: “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account this law.”
Hofstadter was right. Given the lessons we conscientiously learned from our previous projects, at the start of every new project we convince ourselves that, this time, the best-case scenario will be realised. Unfortunately, every project is a unique endeavour with fresh risks and issues to frustrate our best-case expectations.
While an “exact estimate” is an oxymoron, have we ever been on a project where the deadline was way too tight? Chances are that tempers were frayed, sponsors were unhappy, and team members were working ridiculous hours. Chances are, too, that this happened because someone underestimated the time needed to complete the project. “The planning fallacy” is a term used by psychologists to describe our tendency to underestimate the amount of time … Read More »
Although EVM offers excellent benefits, and is undoubtedly a very clever thing, it’s not perfect. In this final chapter I’ve discussed in detail a number of gaps or anomalies with EVM that somewhat limit its effectiveness and discourage its universal acceptance. Despite these shortcomings, and despite the cries from Agile practitioners that EVM is a step back in the evolution of project management, I suggest that EVM is sufficiently useful to ensure it’s here for the long run. Among EVM limitations and criticisms, which if resolved will further enhance this tool, are these:
Lack of Commitment
The old adage, “what gets measured, gets done,” has a corollary in “what gets promoted, get used.” EVM may take time to set up and can involve a rethink of how our projects are planned and how their progress is measured. If our organisation’s senior managers … Read More »