Earned Value Management is Like a Speedometer

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Earned Value Management is Like a Speedometer
Gim Olayinka Oni, Management Consultant, Nigeria

Many projects are completed behind schedule and over budget because there are no proper monitoring and controlling steps taken.
If we consider a project as a "journey", the methodology as the "road", the resource as a "car", the project manager as the driver, then earned value management is like the "speedometer" of the car that consistently shows how the journey (project) is (really) progressing.

Earned Value Management is like GPS Navigation Software
Paul D Giammalvo, Professor and Consultant, Indonesia
Hi Gim, I found your analogy to be interesting, but not completely accurate.
I would suggest that an even better analogy would be to compare Earned Value Management to using GPS navigation software in your automobile. It tells you where you are compared to where you are going; it tells you how long you have been traveling and it projects how much longer it will be before you get to where you want to go; and when combined with your fuel gauge, it tells you how efficiently you are using the fuel in your car and how much more fuel you will consume before arriving at your destination.
And, like your GPS, it can provide you with an indication that your project is "off track" against the plan.
Does that make sense to you?

Completing the Thoughts ..
Adriano A. Barbosa, Director, Brazil
Hi Paul and Gim! Your analogies are very interesting, the comparison with cars can help build initial understanding. However, when using analogies care has to be taken because it's not at the same level of real complexity to deploy and have it operational.
But also, I do understand that there is no easy way to explain the real complexity of the EVM approach. Maybe the point is not to try to explain what EVM is or what it's not. The point can be to demonstrate how the company can increase their profit with a better management system while increasing also the customer satisfaction by accomplishing the contract terms...

Earned Value Management is NOT Complicated at All
Paul D Giammalvo, Professor and Consultant, Indonesia
Adriano and Gim, if you go here Practical Look at How Private Sector Entrepreneurial Contractors Use Earned Value and look at Figure 1 on page 2 of my paper, you can see that earned value is NOT complicated at all.
Bottom line: Earned Value Management is nothing more than applied common sense. If you are serious about using earned value, IMPO, the best single reference book ever published on that topic is Gary Humphrey's Project Management Using Earned Value.

Adding my Thoughts
Lucky Edjenekpo, Management Consultant, Nigeria
I agree with Dr. PDG. EVM is not as complicated as it is thought to be by practitioners, surprisingly. As it is commonly said, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Using EVM opens a whole lot of benefits to all stakeholders - customer, contractor, impacted communities etc. Besides, project managers are hard working practitioners, no doubt; should they be deterred by the amount of work in using EVM? I do not think so. Gary Humphrey's book is a great resource. Lastly, it is my view that EVM could help in increasing transparency (minimizing corruption) in project execution in the African continent in the bid to address the infrastructural need of the continent. Practitioners in the African continent should embrace it.


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