Speaking at the Integrated Program Management Conference in Bethesda MD this week. The keynote speaker Monday was Katrina McFarland, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition)(ASD(A)), the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.
During her talk she spoke of the role of Earned Value Management. Here's a mashup of her remarks...
EV is a thoughtful tool as the basis of a conversation for determining the value (BCWP) produced by the investment (BCWS). This conversation is an assessment of the efficacy of our budget.
We can determine the effecacy of our budget through:
- Measures of Effectiveness of the deliverables in accomplishing the mission or fulfilling the technical and operational needs of the business.
- Measures of Performance of these deliverables to perform the needed functions to produce the needed effectiveness
- Technical Performance Measures of these functions to perform at the needed technical level.
These measures answer the question of what is the efficacy of our budget in delivering the outcomes of our project.
The value of the project outcomes must be traceable to a strategy for the business or mission. Once this strategy has been identified, the Measures of Effectiveness, Performance, and Technical Performance Measures can be assigned to the elements of project. These are shown in the figure below
This approach is scalable up and down the complexity of projects based on five immutable principles of project success.
Without credible answers to each of these questions, the project is on the path to failure on day one.