In this paper we argue that successful implementation of EVM is closely linked to a development of an organisations project management maturity.Barriers to Wider Use of EVABased on research with PMI and APM seminars we can identify the barriers to adoption of EVM as being focus around the three elements of process, people and systems and the implementation of the fundamental principles of basic project management. In summary these barriers are:Embedded processes to establish project scope, define realistic but challenging norms based plans, rules assessing progress and effective control of project change are all vital processes that must be in place to support the implementation of EVM. Without these fundamental processes then the earned value data will soon lose consistency and soon become discredited.People within the organisation need the aptitude, training and discipline to implement effective EVM. They need the ability and training required to understand and use the data produced, they need to be familiar with the jargon used and trust it to make decisions.
Some project managers see the increased visibility provided by EVM as a threat to there ability to manage the clients and their own senior managers expectations. Data needs to be provided within an understood context.The systems which support EVM need to be fed with high quality baseline data with integrate cost and time information within the plan and accurate and timely cost information in a structure consistent with the project Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS). The latter of these often requires an interface to the organisations finance systems and possible modification to coding structures.During the workshop we identified many potential barriers and aids to the implantations of earned value in organisations. In particular the following key elements need to be in place for each stage of the project control cyclePlan the WorkThe plans used for EVM need to implement key elements of good practice.
They must integrate cost and time information through a resource and cost loaded Gantt chart. The work packages within this plan must be integrated with the CBS against which we are going to track costs.


Finally it is useful if a rolling wave approach is used to development the detail within the plan a stage by stage.Work the PlanIt is a basic tenet of project management that we work in accordance with the plan, but in many organisations this can be a real challenge, either because the plan lacks credibility, buy-in or commitment from the project team.
For these reason many individuals or teams execute tasks in different sequences from the planned activities, complete work not included within the plan or ignore it all together. Detailed integrated baseline review of the project plan before baseline can ensure that the team has a detailed understanding of the project plan and iron out difficulties before implementation starts.Measure ProgressProgress can be measured or estimated in several ways, from measurement of physically completed work to estimating the work left to complete. To effectively implement EVM we need defined rules for assessment of progress on work types and these need to be understood and adhered to across the organisation.
For example for a design or software project we might make a rule that activities only earn value once they are complete and which point they earn all the value associated with that task.Take corrective action and manage changeUncontrolled or sluggish control of change can cause major problems for the implementation of EVM. Completing activities not shown on the plan, changes in scope or changes to the sequence of activities need to be captured and incorporated into the baseline through an efficient change control system.
So the question remains as to what level of maturity is required to successfully implement EVM?The Project Management Maturity ModelA Project Management Maturity meets these needs, drawing on established concepts from existing models such as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) from Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute and the Business Excellence Model from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Project Mangement Maturity describes four levels of increasing project management capability, termed NaA?ve, Novice, Normalised, and Natural.
Management processes are repetitive and reactive, with little or no attempt to learn from the past or to prepare for future threats or uncertainties.At Level 2, the Novice project management organisation has begun to experiment with project management, usually through a small number of nominated individuals, but has no formal or structured generic processes in place. Although aware of the potential benefits of managing projects, the Novice organisation has not effectively implemented project management processes and is not gaining the full benefits.The level to which most organisations aspire when setting targets for management of projects is captured in Level 3, the Normalised project management organisation.


At this level, management of projects is built into routine business processes and project management is implemented across all aspects of the business. Generic project management processes are formalised and widespread, and the benefits are understood at all levels of the organisation, although they may not be fully achieved in all cases.Many organisations would probably be happy to remain at Level 3, but we can define a further level of maturity in project management processes, termed the Natural project management organisation (Level 4).
Here the organisation has a fully project-based culture, with a proactive approach to project management in all aspects of the business.
With a mature organisation then the changes required to implement EVM should be relatively painless giving increased levels of confidence in the project delivery capability.ConclusionsEVM offers project management the promises of significant benefits, however very few project managers have adopted it because of significant barriers within their organisations.
In addition, to enable really effective decision making EVM needs a maturity of understanding and support by Senior Managers. Learn More About Parallel Training CoursesCourses including: APM, PMI, PRINCE2, distance learning or face to face courses.



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