Washington DC: The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released on March 12, 2020, the new update of their standard COST ESTIMATING AND ASSESSMENT GUIDE: Best Practices for Developing and Managing Program Costs. This update received contributions and reviews from a panel of selected international experts, including Alexandre Rodrigues, Executive Partner of PMO Projects Group. This GAO Standard is publicly available here.
Moscow: Russia's publicly owned State Atomic Energy Corporation, ROSATOM, is currently enrolled in the development of an internal Project Management methodology called TCM-NC based on AACE's Total Cost Management framework adapted for nuclear construction. An international workshop was organized bringing together some of the world experts in Cost Engineering, formally appointed by ROSATOM to deliver counseling. Alexandre Rodrigues was invited to present the EVM control method.
London: The acclaimed seminal book Advances in Project Management covers key areas of improvement in understanding and project capability further-up the management chain. Drawn from some of the world’s leading practitioners and researchers, including Dr. Alexandre Rodrigues, and compiled by Professor Darren Dalcher of the National Centre for Project Management (UK), this book provides new approaches and novel perspectives that will improve decisions.
Europe: one of the most important research projects in medicine and computer science ever funded by the European Commission, this project was aimed at making significant advances in the forecasting of epileptic seizures. PMO Projects was contracted as the partner company to implement Project Risk Management.
Astana: the North Caspian Operating Company in Kazakhstan selected PMO Projects Group to train their professionals in Cost Engineering and Project Controls (Earned Value Management). PMO Projects Portugal was selected as an European company accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE) as an Approved Education Provider (AEP).
Sofia: the Canadian based international mining company Dundee Precious Metals, acquired PMO Projects Portugal services to receive advise on how to implement the Earned Value Management (EVM) method as the basis to control their projects, in particular at Chelopech in Bulgaria. An EVM seminar and workshop delivered by PMO Projects for Chelopech took place in Sofia.
Maputo: the company MOZAL from the Australian based BHPBilliton international group - one of the world's largest producer of aluminum and one of the most important companies for the sustained development of the Mozambican economy - has established what is currently a 14 years long partnership with PMO Projects Group to develop and improve their internal Project Management competencies and processes through both training and consultancy.
Belo Horizonte: The Brazilian company Samarco, assessed by the Exame magazine as the Best Mining Company of Brazil and the second largest in its sector, selected PMO Projects Brasil for the implementation of the project control method Earned Value Management (EVM). The support of PMO Projects will focus on defining the processes of project and portfolio management aligned with the latest international standard from PMI: the Practice Standard for Earned Value Management (2nd Edition). The work now underway initiated in January 2014.
Barquisimeto: one of the largest construction companies in South America, Odebrecht Engineering and Construction, selected the companies PMO-Projects-Brazil and PMO-Projects-Portugal to implement an integrated project risk management process in a mega-construction project in the industrial production sector, currently underway in Venezuela. This engagement was initiated in May 2013 and extended throughout 2014, following the project's execution.
Johannesburg: since May 2013, the world's largest producer of steel, has been selecting on a continuous basis PMO Projects South Africa in order to train their Project Managers based on the international standards from the Project Management Institute (PMI), by performing one of the most internationally renowned courses in our portfolio: the Complete Project Management®. The last two editions were held at ArcelorMittal Vanderbijlpark, South Africa.
On the evidence of the authors of Advances in Project Management: Narrated Journeys in Unchartered Territory, there is a sea change coming. That change will affect the way projects are perceived, lead and governed, particularly in the context of the wider organisation to which they belong; whether that is in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors.
Many organisations have struggled to apply the traditional models of project management to their new projects in the global environment. Anecdotal and evidence-based research confirms that projects continue to fail at an alarming rate. A major part of the build-up to failure is often the lack of adequate project management knowledge and experience.
Chapter 8 of Advances in Project Management, forward by Professor Darren Dalcher
Progress and Performance: The Case for Extending Earned Value Management
Are we there yet?
The dreaded question ... Having returned from a family summer holiday I was reminded that regardless of their age, children sitting in a car (and therefore in a bounded environment) appear to be uniquely focused on progress and destination. Many parents will attest that the obsession with the target ensures that the continuous progress checking begins almost at the point of departure and that complications and delays are rapidly brushed aside to ensure the targeted focus remains firmly fixed. This offers an example of a classical control loop which monitors a key parameter by constantly questioning its value.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, progress is the forward or onward movement towards a destination, which also can represent advancement or development towards completion or improvement. Once a project is launched, a large part of the project manager’s role is to gather information about the status of the project, interpret that information and take appropriate action. Milestones, progress reports and meetings play a part in providing visibility regarding progress. Techniques such as Earned Value Management (EVM) are used to inform management decisions on a project by delivering measures that can be used to assess its performance.
The UK’s Association for Project Management, APM Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition asserts that ‘Earned Value Management is a project control process based on a structured approach to planning, cost collection and performance measurement’ which facilitates the integration of project scope, time and cost objectives and the establishment of a baseline plan for performance measurement.
Traditional scheduling and budgeting inform management of the amount of budget that has been spent and the progress that has been achieved. EVM in contrast is concerned with determining the value of work achieved alongside the cost of achieving it, thereby providing a performance measure explaining what has been achieved as a result of the expenditure to date. It works by establishing baseline plans which can be compared with actual achievement during the execution of the project. Establishing a relationship between cost and achievement becomes the basis for monitoring and controlling progress, determining performance levels, identifying deviations from the agreed plans, predicting the ultimate outcomes of a project and making informed decisions about actions required to ensure the achievement of the project targets.
EVM has been in use since the 1960s; however it is normally viewed as an extension of cost measurement and project cost accounting. Other approaches have tried looking at the measurement of time, time performance and Earned Schedule. Such attempts also manage to change the meaning of some of the basic concepts in EVM. The chapter by Dr Alexandre Rodrigues attempts to open up a new perspective and introduce an alternative approach and an extended model.
Dr Rodrigues has been intimately involved in researching and extending the use of EVM and has been influential in shaping the discipline of performance measurement through the use of the EVM technique.
Progress can also represent the development of an area or discipline over time. The project management discipline is indebted to Dr Rodrigues and his colleagues for continuing to challenge the boundaries of the discipline. Work in this area is concerned with addressing concerns observed in practice and the new ideas presented by Dr Rodrigues have been applied successfully in empirical settings playing a key part in solving problems and improving our ability to measure performance and improve the track record of project delivery.
Full Contents of the Book: Introduction; Uncertainty: Managing project uncertainty, Darren Dalcher; That uncertain feeling, David Cleden. Strategic Risk: When do projects begin? Addressing strategic project appraisal issues, Darren Dalcher; Strategic project risk appraisal and management, Elaine Harris. Risk: Risks or projects?, Darren Dalcher; Managing risk in projects: what’s new?, David Hillson. Governance: Facing uncertainty: project governance and control, Darren Dalcher; Project governance, Ralf Müller. Programme Management: Managing uncertainty through programmes, Darren Dalcher; Programme management beyond standards and guides, Michel Thiry. Risk Leadership: Beyond tame problems: the case for risk leadership, Darren Dalcher; The application of the ‘new sciences’ to risk and project management, David Hancock. Leadership: In search of project leadership, Darren Dalcher; Project-oriented leadership, Ralf Müller and Rodney Turner. Earned Value: Progress and performance: the case for extending earned value management, Darren Dalcher; Effective measurement of time performance using earned value management, Alexandre Rodrigues. Spiritual Inspiration: Inspiration in teams: searching for a new intelligence, Darren Dalcher; Spirituality in project management teams, Judi Neal and Alan Harpham. Ethics: Project ethics and professionalism: the making of a profession?, Darren Dalcher; Project ethics: the critical path to development, Haukur Ingi Jónasson and Helgi Thor Ingason. Stakeholders: Can we satisfy project stakeholders?, Darren Dalcher; What does the project stakeholder value?, Pernille Eskerod and Anna Lund Jepsen. Supply Chains: Managing connected supply chains, Darren Dalcher; Managing project supply chains, Ron Basu. Second Order Project Management: Making sense of complexity: towards a higher order, Darren Dalcher; A case for second order project management, Michael Cavanagh. Sustainability: Sustainability: a new professional responsibility?, Darren Dalcher; Taking responsibility: the integration of sustainability and project management, Gilbert Silvius and Ron Schipper. Psychology: The psychology of projects: what the bodies of knowledge don’t tell us, Darren Dalcher; The psychology of project management, Sharon De Mascia. Benefits: Overstating the benefits?, Darren Dalcher; Benefits realisation - building on (un)safe foundations or planning for success?, Stephen Jenner. The burden of making good decisions, Darren Dalcher; Decision making under stress - advice for project leaders, Kaye Remington. Leadership Communication: The art of communication, Darren Dalcher; Communicating upwards for effect, Lynda Bourne. Sustainable Impacts: Sustainability and success, Darren Dalcher; Sustainable change in large projects, Göran Brulin and Lennart Svensson. Knowledge: Is there a universal theory of project management?, Darren Dalcher; The coming sea-change in project management science, Michael Hatfield. Senior Management: From projects to strategy, and back again, Darren Dalcher; Evidence of the neglect of project management by senior executives, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez. Summary - project management research: the long journey; Index.
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