EVM still a mystery to most feds

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The Office of Management and Budget is strenuously pushing earned-value management as a project-management tool and requiring agencies to adopt policies for using EVM.

Moreover, a proposed change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation would standardize EVM use for all major federal procurements, in- cluding IT services and projects.

In theory, EVM integrates the scope of work with cost, schedule and performance elements, yielding the best possible project planning and control.

Got that?

If not, you're not alone. In a GCN telephone survey, a whopping 81 percent of government managers said they didn't have a clear understanding of EVM and how it works. Only 16 percent reported having a firm grasp of the concept, and 3 percent understood it to an extent.

Among those who knew something about EVM, 47 percent said their agencies had adopted the technique. Of those managers, 67 percent said EVM had helped their agencies better meet IT project goals on cost, schedule and performance.

Overall, 47 percent of managers who claim to understand EVM said the method would help agencies meet goals on projects.

But a sizeable portion of those in the survey, 42 percent, expressed the view that EVM is just another paper chase.

Asked about overall project-management quality at their agencies, the majority of managers, 53 percent, described it as good. Another 32 percent dubbed it average. Only 3 percent described their project management as excellent.

Forty-two percent of survey participants reported that some of their agency's projects are at risk due to ineffective project management; 53 percent reported otherwise.

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