Boston, MA – June 27, 2007 - The annual Gartner Project &Portfolio Management Summit hosted over 300 IT executives last week at the World Trade Center in Boston.
In his talk, “The PMO Emergent: Projects, Programs, and Portfolios,” Gartner Research Director Matt Light mentioned Dekker, Ltd. as a company that “has a long-standing position in the market.” Light suggested that the IT executives in attendance look into the Dekker, Ltd. product offering especially, “If you’re looking for a focus on cost management,” said Light.
Simon Dekker, President and CEO of Dekker, Ltd., was asked to join the three-day conference as a technology vendor specializing in Earned Value Management for PPM. His presentation to a large gathering of IT executives focused on EVM Lite™, a scaled-down form of Earned Value Management allowing companies to take advantage of the principles and performance metrics associated to the discipline, without the strict compliance to all 32 of the ANSI 748 standards.
He also noted that EVM is not a separate project reporting system and that Earned Value Management works extremely well when schedule, resource, and cost techniques are fully integrated. “EVM fails when it is treated solely as a reporting system and practiced separately from other project management techniques. The symptomology is spreadsheet mania,” said Dekker.
“What companies benefit from in an EVM Lite™ approach is the ability to track and manage performance from period to period, with a realistic approach to forecasting Estimate-At-Complete,” he said.
“EVM Lite™ also provides statistical indicators for schedule, resource and cost risks to help executives, project managers and entire project teams with bottoms-up/top-down planning and execution. The great part about EVM-Lite™ is that it can be accomplished through Microsoft® Project and Project Server as an EPM [Enterprise Project Management] engine for EVM,” Dekker said.
Gartner Government Research Analysts Herb Strauss and David McClure delivered a seminar on EVM, in which they presented the basic concepts of EVM to IT executives, and demonstrated how they might benefit from the practice.
“Earned Value can give you key performance indicators within 15 percent of the project start,” said Strauss. This is important because once a project reaches the 15 to 20 percent point and variances begin to occur, it becomes more and more impossible to meet the baseline budget, he said.
McClure attributed the current rise in EVM adoption to demographic issues. “The Baby Boom generation is retiring, so a lot of experience is leaving the government and contracting firms,” said McClure. This attrition has fueled a need for more accurate performance tracking because the experienced work force upon which companies and governments have come to rely is vanishing, McClure said.
McClure and Strauss noted some key success factors in implementing EVM, the most important of which is setting up a Center of Excellence within an organization, which acts as the single source of truth for all things EVM. This hub is responsible for methodologies, policies, procedures, software tools, and training.
Strauss gave the example of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency awards up to $900 million in grants annually, according to Strauss, and wanted to take their grant proposal process from a 60-day process down to roughly two hours.
The IT project that NOAA implemented to reach this objective was managed with Earned Value disciplines, said Strauss. The $6.2 million project included a two-month baseline planning period, a simple work breakdown structure, short deliverable times, and strictly defined variances. The project came in on budget with a schedule slip of only 30 days, a result with which the agency was exceedingly pleased, said Strauss.
Both the Gartner analysts and Dekker agreed that to think of EVM as simply a reporting tool is a great fallacy. “EVM is a natural fallout of sound project management,” said Dekker. “It’s about proactively getting better at managing projects,” said McClure.
For more information about Simon Dekker, click HERE.
For more information on Herb Strauss, David McClure, and Gartner, Visit the Gartner Web site.