Stephen A. Devaux has a new book out titled Managing Projects as Investments: Earned Value to Business Value. It’s a great read for aspiring and veteran project managers alike and a must read for program and portfolio managers.
Devaux helps make the paradigm shift from thinking of projects simply in terms of cost and schedule to viewing them as investments. The concept of managing projects as investments should change the way people think about project management and those organizations that adopt it will gain significant advantage over their competitors.
It also helps program managers by arming them with new tools and metrics to support difficult decisions to either continue or cancel a project in trouble. These cover the, often overlooked, true cost of days lost in a project.
The tracking DIPP (Devaux’s Index of Project Performance) integrates the three sides of the triple constraint triangle: scope, schedule, and cost and provides a way to measure project performance based on investment metrics. The concept of critical path drag or drag cost, as part of Devaux’s Total Project Control (TPC) methodology, considers the float of parallel activities. It reveals where along the critical path the greatest schedule compression and cost savings are possible as well as justifying additional resources.
Getting into real world details, Devaux further demonstrates his mastery of project management in his treatment of the popular Earned Value Management (EVM) techniques, where he describes both the value and limitations of this type of analysis. Not only does he show where Earned Value Management has gaps, but he also describes how the program manager can build on earned value management techniques to fill these gaps. Using this alone gives the program manager great advantage in assessing project progress and performance.
The book does not shy away from addressing the challenges of resource allocation and successful project scheduling, something that many organizations still wrestle with. Stressing the need for a portfolio-wide project management system along with additional metrics for tracking performance is key for organizational success.
The examples used in the book are clear, simple to understand, and relevant. His study of life saving immunization projects is particularly current in this day of Ebola outbreaks.
You come away with a better understanding of the concept of project management as investments and how to focus in on those areas that will lead to the greatest ROI (Return On Investment).
The book is easy to follow and clearly explains current project management methods and concepts in order to introduce the, now seemly obvious, benefits of new ones. Everything is very well presented with great examples and anecdotes used to reinforce key points. All project managers regardless of experience should read this book.
It accurately captures project management and its use today and offers a great new perspective and methods to manage projects as investments and track performance based on ROI.
For most in our industry, this book should be an eye opener and a career enhancer. This book challenges the reader to step out of their comfort zone and to start thinking like a business manager who invests in value. Extremely well written with no fluff, this book should not only be on every project managers and senior managers bookshelf, but well thumbed and ‘dog eared’ from repeated reading.
You can buy Devaux’s book directly from the Publishers (CRC Press) web site here. You can also learn more about the author, read his blog as well as being able to download some great drag cost exercises here www.totalprojectcontrol.com