Published here December 2004.

Explanatory Preamble | Brenda Originally Wrote
Louise Responds | Frank Chips In | Kathy … | Quentin Responds
Brenda Tries to Summarize | Max Comments | Glen Responds

Glen Alleman Responds


Thanks for the background. There are plenty of "horror stories" of poorly implemented EV processes just as there are horror stories of ERP, CAD, e-commerce, and heaven forbid agile project management.

At Lockheed like my previous CH2M HILL/Kaiser-Hill experience time and labor is collected automatically from the time cards that are web apps. So the effort to collect data is there for the taking already. ODC's come from the purchasing system as well.

Without good metrics EV will not deliver value, so that problem needs to be fixed up front. But that's not an EV issue it's the implementers. Blaming SAP for a poor ERP deployment is an equivalent "non starter."

There are issues that need to be addressed though:

  1. How to allow for BCWP that is not assigned to the passage of time
  2. Accrual accounting is a danger for any performance system, but EV is especially sensitive to cost accruals
  3. Separating planning calendars from accounting calendars and making sure the budget is aligned with plans is a burden in most systems. MSFT Project does not provide even rudimentary tools for this alignment.

Regarding the prediction of the s-curve IMP/IMS is how it is done in aerospace. If you have program events, their significant accomplishments, and the accomplishment criteria defined for the 90-days rolling wave, then the BCWP for those accomplishments are defined and most importantly the criteria for "taking BCWP" are also defined. The "curse of level of effort" is addressed up front in IMP/IMS. This is certainly more work than simply planning tasks and recording the passage of time and absorption of budget. But this effort is paid back many time over with viable EAC's for the 90 day rolling wave and the performance trends for down stream work.

The 3-month re-estimate sounds the same as 90-day rolling wave. For our Hubble program we know all the milestones (events) through launch and operations. But the detailed planning takes place for 90-day windows, while the long range planning is focused on critical path items from previous experience - another reason to have accurate EV numbers to have a parametric estimating system.

Thanks again for the background.


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