Managing Project Performance Using EVM

As we have repeatedly pointed out in prior newsletters, government agencies hate risk. Fancy solutions that promise to do more are fine, but as much as they like to impress, the minds of contracting officers are ruled by fear. They want steady, reliable, predictable performance. Bad project performance can generally be summed up as follows:  poor quality/results, being behind schedule, and over budget. Agencies are increasingly demanding that contractors have systemized processes in place to reduce or eliminate the foregoing. 

The choice of the majority is "earned value management" or EVM. Why do government agencies want EVM? Cost efficiency, for one. Overall project reliability and predictability are other reasons. Adhering to EVM practices throughout the life of the project prevent a project from veering off scope. And whenever a project falls behind schedule or over budget -- both of which EVM exposes -- EVM enables corporate management to immediately revise their prediction of project cost and completion date. EVM reports help reduce the fear government administrators feel towards projects that are outsourced.

Over the next several newsletters, we will look at EVM, why the government demands its use, how it is implemented systematically, and what you need to do to qualify for contracts that require EVM.

Gary Mason
Proposal Writer

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