Roger Kent posted a comment in the current edition of PMI's PM Network. It's one of those posts that causes a twitch to appear in me if for the only reason there is a PMI logo on the material.
- EV actually comes from the shop floor, where the question was are we earning our budget for this work.
- EV doesn't care about the size of the project, it simply asks the question if we had planned to spend an amount of money to produce an outcome, did we spend this money at the planned time for the planned outcomes. And if so did this outcome fulfill the planned requirements? That is was the outcome 100% complete on the planned day for the planned amount?
- You'd think that for a Project Manager knowing the percent complete of your efforts would be an important measure of the project's success. If you're making these numbers up, you've got bigger problems than understanding the application of EV.
- If Roger has a project that is 95% complete for a long time, he needs EV. He'd see that the project is now making no progress and it's just spending money. The CV is going in the ditch along with the SV.
- EV works for any project that has a budget, has a means of capturing actual costs, and a means of measuring physical percent complete against the planned percent complete. You know a credible project plan with a credible project management method. Don't have this information, no problem, you'll discover soon enough you're late, over budget, and you're gadget probably doesn't work.
So the real question is how can a PMI publication, with a contribution from a PMP, who provides PM consultanting not have a basic misunderstanding of how EV contributes to increasing the probability of project success?
I'm not suggesting at all that every project should make use of EV. But that decision needs to be made in the presence of the 5 Immutable Principles of project management. Then those making the decision can determine how to answer those questions in the absence of EV for the neede to measure progress to plan, cost, and techncial performance.