It’s a common misconception that agile processes can’t be used with fixed scope.  A number of the founders of the agile movement invented their forms of agile on fixed-scope projects. As I write this, I’m working myself on an 18-month project with about 20 people and a fixed(ish) scope (see below).  So it can be done. … Read More

Here’s a brief summary of the key Earned Value resources on this blog: Earned Value in two sentences: Earned Value in a Nutshell Introduction, from a Agile perspective: Agile Charts Introduction, from a classic Earned Value Management (aerospace/DoD) perspective: Software Tech News article (was also re-printed in the PMI’s Measurable News) A comprehensive 30-page article,… Read More

There are two common errors when forecasting the final cost of a project.  One is to compare actual cost with planned cost.  The other is to compare actual progress with planned progress.  Both are wrong.  Earned Value teaches us that the only valid measure is to compare actual cost with actual progress.   This may seem… Read More

I draw usually draw Earned Value charts with the cost (AC) line in red, and the progress (EV) line in green. In this post, I’m going to outline some basic rules for getting a good “green line”.  The recommendations in this post are for people doing “lite” Earned Value as described in my posts and… Read More

This page provides shortcuts to my Earned Value article in the Encyclopedia of Software Engineering. Link to online copy. As of 27 June 2011, you can purchase just the EV article (without having to buy the whole encyclopedia.) [Update, March 2013: the publishers seem to have reverted to selling it only as part of the… Read More

Glen Alleman posted on the difficulty (or otherwise) of the maths in EVM, and several of us commented.  He  followed that with an example in which the maths is very simple, which I quite liked as an introduction to Earned Value. Marcin Niebudek wrote an article, in which he adds a budget line to an… Read More

I’ll be speaking at the New Zealand Computer Society’s 50th Anniversary Conference, on the topic of Earned Value Management. I’m looking forward to being part of an interesting conference, and hopefully helping to lift the profile of EVM in New Zealand. Link to presentation abstract ( The abstract’s reference to “Number 8 wire” may be… Read More

I’ve been looking for a way to describe the “essence” of Earned Value Management (EVM).  How can I describe the core of what EVM is about – without resorting to an impenetrable jungle of acronyms? This is particularly important when describing it to people outside EVM’s traditional strongholds of defense and aerospace.  Outside those areas,… Read More

Why do so many projects seem to be OK, but, when you get near the end, they turn out not to be OK after all?  Everyone thought you were going to make the target date, but at the last minute… well, no you couldn’t. I’d like to suggest an answer.  Let’s illustrate it with an… Read More

I was recently invited to write an article on agile-style EVM charts for Software Tech News, a publication of the US Department of Defense.  The audience was the traditional EVM community within the DoD, so I wrote the article from a traditional EVM perspective.  By way of background, EVM is governed by the ANSI/EIA-748 standard… Read More