Earned Value Management isn’t just about choosing the right tools or setting up your schedule properly (although trust us, those things definitely help). It’s an ongoing process.
You can have tools and plans in place, but without a continual effort to sustain the culture and use of what you have, sometimes even the best implementation gets a little tired with time.
Executives come and go, and perhaps the new people at the top don’t have such a deep appreciation for the value of EV reporting, or haven’t used it in their past roles so aren’t as familiar with it. Perhaps other priorities mean the PMO hasn’t got the time to do as much EV training and support for the project community as they used to, or maybe the team’s super user or tool expert left for another position and hasn’t yet been replaced.
There are many reasons why you might be finding it hard to get what you wanted out of your EV tools. In many cases that might not be an issue at all. You’re performing projects well with the tools you have, and are happy with the level of reporting and information that the project teams are doing.
However, if you go on to secure a contract that specifies reporting in a certain format, suddenly you have to move beyond your comfort zone to some elements of EV that your current team might not be familiar with.
That’s where a burst of sustained EVM education can boost the performance of the organization and ensure you wow your client.
Earned Value Management Training Case Study
Elusys Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, reached out to Ten Six to support with EVM data. They were using industry standard EV tools for a 5-year project and wanted to make sure they were collecting and disseminating the best possible information for their client.
We delivered EVM awareness workshops for senior management, detailed EVM training workshops for program controls staff, and Deltek Cobra training to support the creation of monthly report data. Ongoing support was also provided to ensure the accurate production of monthly reports. This included a review of the monthly reports, a comprehensive debrief with Elusys management and knowledge transfer.
As a result, Elusys were able to successfully complete their monthly reporting cycles with accurate data for their client.
How to get support
There are a number of different ways you can build support and deliver education on EVM topics across the business. Here are some.
Awareness workshops are targeted at senior management to ensure they understand basic EVM concepts and can support projects using EV techniques. They focus on building a common understanding and language across the organization and helping senior leaders step into their role in a knowledgeable way.
One-on-one mentoring and coaching
Sometimes the best approach is a personalized one. Individual support can be offered to program controls team members and project managers to upskill them on concepts and techniques required for them to succeed in their roles.
This is one of the most effective ways of carrying out knowledge transfer because it can be paced to suit the individual and tailored to their individual needs. In our experience, a lot of information is retained this way, making it a reliable and useful method to quickly support team members with new knowledge.
Training in the tool you use is also valuable. Many companies invest heavily in training when the tool is first implemented, and then expect project team members and program controls staff to ‘pick it up as they go along’ after that.
There is value in learning on the job, but as tools are updated and new features released, or the needs of the business change, it’s important to have access to reliable sources of information to help use and adapt your tools to fit your requirements.
Looking at a whole process holistically can often provide valuable insight into how things could be improved or where there are opportunities for review. For example, with EVM data, you could look at the inputs for monthly report data, cumulative schedule, performance, actual and baseline inputs. The whole monthly reporting cycle could be reviewed with a view to spotting potential issues.
Desktop process guides can be a useful reference for teams, especially for features that are not used very often. If you only run a particular report once a month, that’s only 12 times a year – and that doesn’t feel enough to be confident running it from scratch with no reference to notes, however intuitive your project management software is.
Detailed documentation can save users a lot of time and provide a helpful starting point for those new members of the team. They can cover both the technical aspects of how to do the task and also the process elements, touchpoints and other useful data to complete the work effectively.
If you’ve got experienced team members in-house, you can design your own EVM education program led by the PMO. If you have a need that is more urgent than an in-house program can provide for, or you no longer have the skills in house to deliver what you need, then get in touch. We can work with you to review and refresh the way you use EVM across the organization so you can get the best out of it for yourselves and your clients.