I mentioned the other day that the IT industry has been struggling to adopt Earned Value Management. There's a three-part series on Projects@Work on Earned Value that illustrates the trials and tribulations thus far. This first part is based on a survey from Primavera that demonstrates just how far behind the IT industry is.
Ironically, this is especially so in the US government (the focus of the Primavera study), despite a mandate from the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) that any IT organization that wants to get their project approved must use Earned Value for tracking cost.
According to the article:
Respondents cite three big EVM challenges:
- 25 percent say they are unfamiliar with EVM;
- 24 percent say they lack personnel trained in EVM; and
- 21 percent say they lack senior management interest.
As the article points out, the latter is the most suprising, considering the OMB mandate. It just goes to show that these things must be driven from the top if they are to be effective.
I suspect part of the problem is that the concepts need to be made simpler for management to embrace it, or at least the focus should be directed at the ultimate EVM figures management would care about, such as "Estimate at Completion," as opposed to the more cryptic Cost Performance Indices (CPI) - although they're valuable as a project manager's tool.
If you really want to turn a senior manager off, just show them an Earned Value metrics chart. Better to sell them on the concepts first and give them the resulting target estimates and planned corrective actions rather than the nuts and bolts of EVM metrics.