Monthly Archives: February 2022

Sizing EVM Work Packages

Following on from my last post EVM – Six things’ people don’t get! I’m seeing far too many examples of EVM systems that are set up to fail, either because the people doing the work think the WBS should reflect the project chart of accounts or the WBS should be part of the schedule. Both are a recipe for failure! However, like most people with a good understanding of EVM, and almost all of the books, in the first article I did not explain why this is the case.

Correcting this omission is the focus of my latest article EVM – Sizing Work Packages.  This article shows why the basic requirement for a work package are that is it big enough to have a manager appointed with the authority to manage the full scope of the work (cost, time, quality, etc), and that it will be open long enough to allow management control to be exercised. 

The example I used in Sizing Work Packages was a theoretical $15 million, 10-month project to design and construct a rail bridge.  The schedule for this size of project would likely be in the region of 100 to 200+ activities (maybe more).  While the project cost controls would likely contain around 50 to 150+ line items. In both of these controls tools this level of detail is needed for effective control. However, for the same project, an effective EVM system needs around 10 work packages laid out in a block diagram they would cover:

These ten work packages are of a sensible size, they are likely to align with a typical management structure, summary activities in the project schedule and the project cost system. Assuming the data transfer from these other systems is robust, the work packages are capable of being rigorously assessed and controlled using standard EVM metrics in a straightforward spreadsheet.

For more on Sizing Work Packages and pragmatic EVM, see Mosaic’s EVM and ES webpage:

Easy CPM launched

Easy CPM is a self-paced course-in-a-book, supported by Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd, focused on developing and using an effective schedule in almost any software tool. For projects using EVM, Easy CPM acts as a companion to our Easy EVM focusing on developing the realistic and achievable schedule that underpins EVM and is needed for the successful delivery of all projects.

The book is intended to provide practical guidance to people involved in developing, or using, schedules based on the Critical Path Method (CPM). It is designed to act as a reference and practice guide to enhance the effectiveness of their scheduling practice after they have learned to use the CPM scheduling software of their choice.

The basic premise underpinning the development of this book is that a schedule is only useful if it is used. Creating a usable schedule requires two parallel processes:

  1. It requires a pragmatic approach to planning and scheduling the future work of a project to create a realistic and achievable schedule.
  2. It also requires management to make effective use of the schedule, which is a management challenge that typically involves a significant shift in culture and expectations.

Both of these aspects are considered in Easy CPM.

The book is divided into six sections, each section includes guidance on an aspect of CPM scheduling, references, and a set of 20 questions; with the answers in Section 7. Section 8 incorporates the appendix.

$35.00 AUD (Plus GST, Australian customers only). Size: 295 pages, 120 questions, file size 22 Mb.

Preview Easy CPM on Book2Look, or click through for more information and to buy.

See more on Easy EVM.