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Project Management and Controls Blog: Earned Value (EV)

I know I’m probably going to ruffle a few feathers with this post but it needs to be said.

The watering down of the Project Management and Project Controls crafts on multiple levels (trying to make a buck or save a buck) has prompted me to write this post/article. I would be remised if I didn’t say something.

So here it goes...

Before a company can successfully implement a good EV process and use their metrics to make decisions project persons need make sure the budget isn't blown and the schedule is accurate and regulatory updated. Most projects and organizations struggle with the basics.


You can’t expect to run if you barely know how to crawl....

Every big project should have a cost analyst and planner/scheduler. It is extremely rare to find a person who can do both jobs or be an expert SME in both areas to ensure cost and schedule are aligned.

I remember first learning this concept from very well seasoned Project Controls expert (over 30 years of experience when I met him 6+ years ago) in my former life. Extremely pragmatic in his approaches and very knowledgeable in methodologies across multiple industries. He made a good point. He said the only entity to effectively implement EV is the government...WHY.... BC they have the resources (money) to do it correctly. Most companies do not want to spend the extra resources (monies/salaries) on staff to effectively to do EV. Properly staffing a project is important to EV.

I always think of the conversation I had with this former manager of mine every time I see EV. As a result I am soooo tired of seeing EV, and how it can save projects time money blah blah blah. It can do all that BUT.

If the project/organization does not have a good cost control process in place then everything falls downs. The proper way IMO is to have the cost analyst record and forecast the cost then work with the planner/scheduler to ensure cost and schedule is aligned.

There are some variations to the above sentences but in a nutshell this is what has worked for me.

EV is awesome when you have great cost control and schedule control in place. But remember in what ever you do you have to crawl, walk and the run. No doubt about EV is for those who can run.

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