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Earned Value Management Across Multiple Schedules

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Andy M
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Hello,

I am working on a project that will have multiple bid packages awarded over a 2 year period, so the schedule will grow as each bid package is awarded. The owner wants us to use earned value management. My plan is to create a high level schedule with all the milestones and then to create a schedule for each bid package. The schedules will be linked to the other schedules as needed. From my research and experimenting in P6, it looks like the earned value curves on the activity usage profile will sum data from multiple schedules if I have multiple schedules open at the same time. I think I will be able to report project wide earned value metrics even though the project is broken into multiple schedules. Just to be clear, when I say project wide, I mean earned value metrics for all bid packages, as opposed to just 1 bid package. My goal is to be able to see the performance of the entire project, which is made up of multiple bid packages, instead of the performance of just 1 bid package.

Can I generate project wide earned value metrics from multiple schedules?

Is there a better way you would recommend I set up the schedules instead of a schedule for each bid package?

Thank you.

Replies

Rafael Davila
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Imagine you are doing EVM for an internal software development job and instead of cost you are tracking EV for man-hours. Then BCWP “Budgeted Cost of Work Performed” is misleading, is unacceptable, it should be BVWP “Budgeted Value of Work Performed”; for cost it should read Cost[BVWP] while for volume of work it should read Volume[BVWP]. For resource hours it should read Resource-hours[BVWP], there is no cost shown in the diagram!

Image-018

Many people do not realize how wrong it is because they follow the poor selection of terms used by the PERT team who could only think of value in monetary terms.  Earned Value origin was long before CPM, at the time it had no flaws.  When PERT team tried to tie it to CPM schedules relevant flaws surfaced, most notably the SPI.  EVM makes sense under limited conditions, but you do not know at the beginning of a job if these conditions will hold or be broken.

For those still hooked on EVM please be reminded that when using volume of work the units shall be the same, here multiple WBS come handy as it allows you to group the phases by work sharing the same unit without sacrificing the need for other WBS structures.

Best Regards, Rafael Davila (an objector to the use of EVM)

Rafael Davila
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You should be able to manage EV at the portfolio level as well as at job and phase level, even at activity level.  It gets better when using multiple WBS structures, say one structure organized by Jobs and another by CSI master format codes.  Better if instead of cost EV is based on parameters such as man-hour or a common work measure.  When using portfolios you shall create a portfolio baseline, analogous to stand alone baselines.

evmx1 WBS by Job
evmx2 WBS by CSI masterformat division, EV for concrete by CY

By the way I do not use EVM unless at gunpoint. 

  • EVM does not distinguish between critical and non-critical activities. Tracking EV variance without taking into account float makes no sense.  A project could be late but EVA will not notice this problem if Earned Value exceeds Planned Value.
  • A firm and stable baseline is a fundamental requirement for EVM.  Complex projects often involve unanticipated rework, making them unsuitable for EVM.
  • The DOD the father of the creature is against the use of EVM in fixed price contracts.
  • Field supervisors do not speak EVM jargon; ACWP, BAC, BCWP, BCWS, CA, CAM, CPI, CV, CWBS, EAC, EVA, LOE, LRE, OBS, PMB, RAM, SOW, SPI, SV, TAB, WBS, WP... What the heck!
  • Field supervisors will say if concrete wall pouring crew is 1 crane and 3 laborers the crew should have an estimated production rate of 20 cy/hr; if pouring 30 cy it will take 1.5 hours.  So simple!
  • Get real; if you cannot communicate EVM to the stakeholders, top management and people actually doing the job, then it is of no value.

        hit-the-nail No EV.

We manage our jobs by paying attention to contract milestones as well as costs and production rates.  For most jobs we use deterministic schedules, for more complex jobs we follow probabilities of success for contract milestones and cost.

Best Regards, Rafael

Zoltan Palffy
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ok 1 step at a time then

Andy M
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Zoltan,

Thank you, that makes sense. I am having trouble with update baseline, but I will save that for another post.

Zoltan Palffy
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you would select update baseline from the current project 

Andy M
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Zoltan,

Thank you. How would I manage the baseline if I am adding large numbers of activities? My understanding/experience is that I would make a baseline after the schedule for the first bid package was complete. When the schedule was complete for each future bid package, I would then have to Restore the baseline, copy the activities for the new bid package to the baseline, and then recreate all the links between the new bid package and the older bid packages in the baseline. After the baseline was updated, I would then add it back into the schedule. Having to make sure the links in the baseline match the links in the schedule seems like a place where I could make a mistake.

Please let me know if my understanding of the process for managing the baseline when adding bid packages is wrong.

Thank you.

Zoltan Palffy
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thats my whole point u r not adding projects only activiies 

UK Planning Engineer
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Thanks Zoltan, but how could EV be measured across multiple projects and newly added projects (which would change the BAC & and alter EAC each time a proejct was added) in this way in P6?

Andy M
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Zoltan,

I am concerned about managing the baseline if I make 1 schedule. My understanding/experience is that I would make a baseline after the schedule for the first bid package was complete. When the schedule was complete for each future bid package, I would then have to Restore the baseline, copy the activities for the new bid package to the baseline, and then recreate all the links between the new bid package and the older bid packages in the baseline. After the baseline was updated, I would then add it back into the schedule. Having to make sure the links in the baseline match the links in the schedule seems like a place where I could make a mistake.

Please let me know if my understanding of the process for managing the baseline when adding bid packages is wrong.

Thank you.

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 19 hours 38 min ago. Offline
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too many schedule is too hard to manage. Why not make 1 schedule and put each project under its own wbs i.e

MASTER PROJECT

Project #1

   Summary #1 here

       Details #1 here

Project #2

   Summary #2 here

       Details #2 here

Project #3

   Summary #3 here

       Details #3 here