Earned Value Management Tips and Tricks

A recent whitepaper was published to in Washington Technology Magazine highlighting best practices around Earned Value Management for government contractors. This whitepaper can be downloaded here. Here are a few of the tips included provided by Bill Wenchel, Sr. Project Manager, Management Concepts:

1.  Look for an EVM system flexible enough to provide for varying levels of discipline/rigor, since a $2 million contract requires less control than a $100 million program.

2. It’s key to use a strong accounting system that provides information in as close to real-time as practical. The more connected accounting, project, materials and labor data is to the EVM system, the less re-entry work required to get accurate measurements. Dashboards and other analytic tools can reduce arguments over the validity/timing of data, versus what the results actually say.

3.  Program managers must be trained in project management as well as financial management to adequately report on schedules/plans and estimates. These managers need more than an accounting background to come up with a basis for their estimates and justify planned expenses.

4. When forecasting across several years, your plan may not have the same level of granularity in year 3 or 4 as now,which makes it critical to budget accordingly.

5. Education is often needed for managers to understand what EVM provides, and that its not a silver bullet solution for project management.

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