Liverpool Graduate Student seeks Survey Participants for Earned Schedule research project


11 April 2013 – Project Management Masters Degree Student Osahon Okungbowa at the University of Liverpool is writing a dissertation on the topic: Viewing Earned Schedule as an Integral Part of Earned Value Management.  As part of the dissertation research, an online survey has been developed to gather information about Earned Value Management. The demographics required for the survey are – individuals who are currently undergoing any form of certification in Project Management or individuals who are currently taking a course / any form of degree in Project Management.

university-of-liverpoolIn summary, he is interested in respondents who can be regarded as Project Management Students. At least 150 respondents for the survey; the PM World Journal has been contacted to raise the visibility of the survey and to seek participants. The link to the online survey is: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/writeosahon/project-management-schedule-techniques/ .

According to the dissertation proposal:

  • Earned Value Management (EVM) is a recognised and accepted technique in the monitoring and control of cost and schedule within the project management discipline. The academic field and practitioners have universally relied on EVM to measure the progress of their projects in terms of cost and schedule.
  • The EVM concepts were initially conceived by industrial engineers working in American factories in the late 1800s.  However, the U.S federal government is credited with formally introducing EVM in 1967 as an integral aspect of its Cost/Schedule Control System Criteria (Kwak and Anbari, 2012: 78).
  • The Project Management Institute [PMI] (2008: 433) defines EVM as a management methodology that is used for the integration of scope, schedule and resources, as well as for the objective measurement of project performance and progress, which is measured by determining earned value and comparing it to the actual cost of work performed.
  • Despite its benefits, EVM has some major shortcomings: the SV and SPI indicators are unreliable from about 65% of project execution. For late completing projects, this instability becomes more glaring as SV converges to 0 while SPI converges to a value of 1 regardless of the extent of lateness in the project completion (Lipke et al., 2009: 401; Stratton, 2007: 04.1). The PMI (2008: 182) accedes to this shortcoming. In addition, SV and SPI are expressed as units of cost rather than units of time.
  • The author, both as a member of the academia and practitioner, believes that expressing SV and SPI as units of cost (as opposed to units of time) is counter-intuitive and makes project performance reports less comprehensible.
  • Earned Schedule (ES) was formulated by Walt Lipke to address the shortcomings of EVM (Stratton, 2007: 04.2-04.3; Crew, 2009: EVM.03.5-EVM03.6). ES provides schedule indicators that are similar to their EVM counterparts (i.e. SVt and SPIt); these indicators also perform well and reliably throughout a project execution, even for late completing projects. Furthermore, ES indicators are expressed in units of time making them more comprehensible.

The aim of this dissertation is to bring the ES technique to the fore of EVM research and to stipulate its adoption by project management practitioners.

In order to reach the aim of the dissertation, the following research questions were established: What are the implications/impacts of integrating ES into the EVM technique?  What roles should be played by the academia and practitioners for the integration of ES with EVM to be a success?

The dissertation will identify some gaps that need to be filled in the ES research area, with a view to stipulating the interest of the academia. The paper will also seek the views (through intensive interview session) of the creator of the ES technique – Walt Lipke regarding the successes, challenges and future expectations for ES within the project management discipline. A survey will be performed to establish the level of awareness of selected project management masters students about the existence of ES and their disposition to adopting the technique.

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