I work agile programs that are subject to FAR 34.2 and DFARS 234.2 These are Software Intensive System of Systems, starting at $20M in some domains and $5M in others and going much larger. Many are household names in space and defense business. These programs integrate Earned Value Management with Agile software development to great advantage.
But there are some Dark Sides to agile in this domain and context.
Like all processes and tools that support them, there is a Dark Side.
Here are some Dark Sides to the integration of Agile and EVM.
- One of the principles of Agile is the encouragement of Late Changes. This allows the project to adapt to emerging needs. But someone has to pay for this non-recoverable sunk cost that results from the changes that don’t appear in production.
- These changes may also impact the PMB, and drive changes to the baseline. The accounting processes will be burdened as well, with BCRs.
- In the EVM world, CPI can forecast cost overruns. In Agile the cost spreads are fixed by the flat staffing profile during the sprints. Unfavorable CV is not possible. Undelivered functionality is.
- SV is problematic in normal EVM. What does it mean to be $250K unfavorable to schedule (SV) unless you know the burn rate?
There is no field in the IPMR for Story Points or Stories. The WBS at the Control Account and Work Package level is assigned Dollars. Performance is measured by Physical Percent Complete against BCWS – in dollars.