Project Monitoring and Control


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Earned Value Analysis and Burn Graphs (from class in my MSc of Software Engineering program, 2004)

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  • Lean production is a manufacturing process developed at Toyota. Focuses on responding to change to minimize inefficiency. Does not center on long-term planning. (1970s and 1980s)
    There is a “Lean Software Development” process
  • Used heavily in Scrum as the primary project progress metric.

    Levels of abstraction:
    Request (user story, requirement, use case)
    Milestone (sprint backlog)
    Overall project (product backlog)

    For higher levels, must take into account the project velocity (team member availability)
  • Product Backlog:
    Tradeoffs between cost, time, functionality, and quality (four pillars)
    Stress that by repeatedly updating and displaying the product backlog graph, management sees the effects of their choices.
    They can alter priorities with some understanding of the impact.
    Allows them to steer the project.
    Sprint Backlog:
    Allows team to see the impact of their estimates
    Each team will develop a signature
    Watch out for deviations from normal practice...
  • Just want to show that you don't always get a pretty sloped graph in the real world.

    This is the burn-down graph of a request I was handling at work. It looked complete after iteration #1, but we found an ambiguity in the requirements that required we revisit it. That's why there are two tasks. Gantt chart is just to elaborate the progress changes.
  • Need to find some sources about these as I'm basically just making assumptions!
  • Just a burn-up graph...

    Better than milestone % complete as this graph suffers from “false reporting” problem. People say they're 90% finished forever.

    Better than features complete graph as this ignores work-in progress.

  • Note: I'd like to give a demonstration of OPT if we have time. I can have it on my laptop or off my server via an PC with a web-browser.

  • Project Monitoring and Control

    1. 1. Project Monitoring and Control with EVA and Burn Graphs Guy Davis Kendra Hamilton Ed Dantsiguer
    2. 2. Agenda  Origins of EVA  EVA Explained  EVA Examples  Shortcomings of EVA  Agile side of EVA  Burn Graphs  Tools  Discussion
    3. 3. Overview of EVA  “The essence of [Earned Value Management Systems] is that some level of detail appropriate for the degree of technical, schedule, and cost risk or uncertainty associated with the program, a target value ….is established.” Paul Solomon 2002.
    4. 4. History of EVA  PERT/Cost (1963)  DoD Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria (C/ SCSC) (1967).  Government Performance and Results Act (1993), Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, Title V (1994), Clinger-Cohen Act (1996)  EIA-748-1998 “Earned Value Management System”  Office of Management and Budget (Circular A-11, Part 7) (2003)
    5. 5. Motivation for EVA  Integrates work, cost, and schedule metrics.  Early warning signal.  Driving by looking in the front windshield instead of the rear view mirror. Statistical projection.  U.S. Government requirement.
    6. 6. EVA Explained 1/3  EVA concentrates on project management and control Requires a number of tasks to be  performed before utilizing EVA:  Work Breakdown Structure Cost (WBS)  Creation of detailed plan (critical path plan)  Includes all activities that have to Earned be performed, their durations, Value costs and relative contributions to Schedule Technical the overall deliverable Performance
    7. 7. EVA Explained 2/3
    8. 8. EVA Explained 3/3  EVA is used to determine current project performance and estimate/forecast future project performance  Based on 3 data points: Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)  Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)  Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS) 
    9. 9. Budgeted Cost of Work Performed  Planned (budgeted/estimated) cost of work that has been completed until this point  Answers: “How much was performed work supposed to cost?” Based on features/activities completed and  the budgeted amount for these features/ activities in the original project plan
    10. 10. Actual Cost of Work Performed  Actual cost of work that has been completed until this point  Answers: “What was the actual cost of work actually performed?” Based on features/activities completed and  cost of these features/activities in real life
    11. 11. Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled  Planned (budgeted/estimated) cost of work that was supposed to be completed  Answers: “How much work should have been done and how much was it meant to cost?” Based on features/activities planned/scheduled and  the budgeted amount for these features/activities in the original project plan Budget at Completion (BAC) is the total funds allocated  (budgeted) for this project to complete
    12. 12. Derived Metrics  Schedule Variance (SV)  SV = BCWP – BCWS  Compares what is done with what was supposed to be done  SV < 0  project is behind schedule  Cost Variance (CV)  CV = BCWP – ACWP  Compares actual project cost with budgeted project costs  CV < 0  project is over budget
    13. 13. Schedule/Cost Performance Index  Schedule Performance Index (SPI)  SPI = BCWP/BCWS  SPI < 1  project is behind schedule  Cost Performance Index (CPI)  CPI = BCWP/ACWP  CPI < 1  project is over budget  Cost Schedule Index (CSI)  CSI = CPI * SPI  CSI < 1  project is not tracking to plan  The further away CSI is from 1, the less likely is successful project recovery
    14. 14. Using EVA Metrics in Project Control 1/2  Each individual EVA metric is not greatly useful on its own Metrics need to be considered as a group  Ex: Just because a project has a CSI of 1  does not imply that the project is doing well – it may be well ahead of schedule while also being well ahead of its budget
    15. 15. Using EVA Metrics in Project Control 2/2  ACWP metric can be used to project future activity costs/durations This is called Estimate To Completion (ETC)  The end of the projected ETC curve is  the Estimate At Completion (EAC)  estimated schedule and cost required to complete the project based on current productivity and spending Comparison between EAC and BAC shows is the  project is likely to be on schedule and/or on budget  Variance at Completion (VAC)  schedule difference between BAC and EAC
    16. 16. Recommended Performance Metric Values Per the “U.S. Marine Corps Acquisition Procedures Handbook,” June 1997
    17. 17. EVA Task Types  Discrete Effort Activities with start and end time that result in  deliverables  Apportioned Effort  Effort required to support discrete effort tasks (Ex: inspections, quality control)  Proportional to the type/size of discrete effort tasks that they support  Level of Effort Overhead activities with no concrete deliverables (Ex:  management and administrative activities)
    18. 18. Crediting Earned Value  Discrete Effort Credited upon completion with actual cost and duration  tracked  Apportioned Effort  Credited upon completion of related discrete effort tasks  Level of Effort Credited according to plan (regardless of actual cost  and duration)
    19. 19. Crediting Earned Value Methods  Milestone Events  Weighted Milestone Gates  Percentage Complete  Fixed Formula  Level of Effort  Percentage Complete and Milestone Gates
    20. 20. EVA Example 1/2  Planned/Scheduled Data: Duration of 10 months  Includes 10 features with multiple tasks  Budget of $100 million   Actual After 6 Weeks: 55% of the work has been completed  $85 million has been spent 
    21. 21. EVA Example 2/2 Earned Value Analysis 200 150 Cumulative Spending 100 BCWS BCWP ACWP ETC 50 0 0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15 Time, Working Weeks
    22. 22. Success Factors for EVA  Quality of the baseline; need to include all details.  Take action early based on performance indicators. “I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activity” Goethe
    23. 23. Shortcomings of EVA  Based on past performance; assumes constant rate of spend and value creation Assumes a direct relationship between time and cost.  Value measured in technical components, not  expected business value. Project must be fully defined at outset; the devil is in  the details. Time required for measuring project’s progress 
    24. 24. EVA Tools  Excel  Welcom “Cobra”  Schedulemaker  Planisware “OPX2”  RiskTrak  Winsight  Primavera Systems
    25. 25. EVA compared to Agile  Full project view vs. Iterative view  Tasks fully defined vs. Changing requirements  Attempts to forecast future vs. Determination of next iteration  EVA is not suitable for truly “Agile” projects
    26. 26. EVA in an Agile/Iterative Project  Approach 1: Stories = BCWS  Tasks = BCWS in more detail  Assignments = ACWP  Velocity = BCWP  Testable requirements = 0% or 100% BCWP 
    27. 27. EVA in an Agile/Iterative Project  Approach 2: Do EVA on individual iterations   Approach 3:  Generate micro estimations for current iteration and macro estimations for future iterations
    28. 28. Burn Graphs  Origins of Burn Graphs Cumulative flow diagrams from lean production   Goal: to provide a succinct view of progress.  Allows project sponsors to steer the project.  Allows scrum master report visually to stakeholders. Allows the team to gain experience estimating  by getting direct feedback. (Empowering)
    29. 29. Burn-Down Graphs  Shows remaining estimated effort on item Usually in ideal engineering time (IET hours)   Calculated for any level of task abstraction
    30. 30. Scrum Backlog Graphs  Product Backlog Graph High-level view of overall project progress.  Completion date: work left versus resources  available. Quantitative tool for making trade-offs.   Sprint Backlog Graph Detailed view of a single sprint's progress.  Sprint signatures: compare current with past  results. First notice of schedule slips seen here. 
    31. 31. Not always pretty...
    32. 32. Burn-up Graphs  Shows progress on completion of item Usually displays percentage complete  Just the inverse of a burn-down graph 
    33. 33. Cumulative Flow Diagrams  Tracks number of features (and status) over time  Better for reporting than: % complete graph of feature milestone percentages  Features completed over time 
    34. 34. Overview of Burn Graphs Drawbacks Benefits  Metric choice is key  Easy to compile/track  Over-simplification?  Feedback to the team and status to the Hides dependencies  customer Should be able to   Highlights: zoom to see levels Schedule slips  Traditionalists will resist  implementation? Scope creep 
    35. 35. Burn Graph Tools  Open-source Outreach Project Tool (OPT)  XPlanner   Commercial  Version One MS Excel 
    36. 36. References Anderson, David J. “Using Cumulative Flow Diagrams with FDD”. Feature Driven Development. 2003. http://  Anderson, David J. Agile Management for Software Engineering. Prentice Hall. 2003  Alleman, Glen B., Henderson, Michael, “Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting  Environment” Proceedings of the Agile Development Conference, IEEE, 2003. Fleming, Quentin W., Koppelman, Joel M., “Earned Value Project Management: A Powerful Tool for Software  Projects”, Crosstalk, July 1998. Hayes, Heather, “Using Earned-Value Analysis to Better Manage Projects”, Pharmaceutical Technology,  February 2002. Howes, Rodney “Improving the Performance of Earned Value Analysis as a Construction Project Management  Tool”, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 2000. Schwaber, Ken and Mike Beedle. Agile Software Development with Scrum. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River,  NJ. 2002 Solomon, Paul J., “Practical Software Measurement, Performance-Based Earned Value,” Crosstalk,  September, 2002.
    37. 37. Discussion Points  Can EVA be applied to agile projects?  What metrics would you use for burn graphs?  Would you adopt burn graphs at your organization?
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