Want to change the project terminology in Deltek Cobra? In the world of earned value, the term ‘Progress’ might more generally be associated with activities in the schedule and not immediately thought of as an alternative to the term Earned Value. So what’s up with all this progress language we are seeing in new versions of Deltek Cobra?
With the release of Deltek Cobra 8.0, there was a move away from the term ‘Earned Value’, replacing it with the term ‘Progress’. For those who’ve been wondering why on earth this was done, the answer does make sense. As it happens, Deltek does have a growing base of customers that use Cobra for it’s comprehensive cost engine, but who otherwise do not have an earned value requirement. Indeed, I have worked with customers who have used Deltek Cobra for highly accurate project estimating because of its sophisticated and hugely flexible time-phased cost burdening and price escalation functions. And evidently this is a growing trend that is a new stream of potential customers for Deltek.
In order to make Deltek Cobra more palatable to this wider, non-EV audience, it was decided to tone down the earned value language a little. However, for crusty old curmudgeons like myself, this took a little getting used to. After more than a dozen years breaking sweat over this tool, it’s hard to see it as anything else but an earned value management system.
So for the benefit of my fellow ‘curmudgeons’ who would like to get their earned value back on, here’s one area in Cobra that you may find of interest. Dial into the Deltek Cobra Start menu (or button I suppose it is) and under Preferences choose the Application option.
In the resulting General Tab, go to the Project Terminology group box and replace the default Budget and Progress text with your preferred EV terminology. In this example, I’ve opted for good old Planned Value and Earned Value. Guys even crustier than me might opt for BCWS, BCWP, and maybe even ACWP down there in the Actuals field.
Click Apply, restart the Deltek Cobra program and voila, Cobra is speaking your language once more.
Just one point though, the Calculate Earned Value button doesn’t change. That puppy continues to insist that you are Calculating Progress.
Hey ho – at lease your column headers reflect your update.
So there you have it folks. Deltek have given us the option to change the terminology when we need to. And in addition to the budget and earned value terms, we can also change the terms for control account, work packages, control account managers, BAC, and EAC. Don’t forget you will need to restart Deltek Cobra to see the changes take affect.