Introducing â€¦ Earned Value Management: More Efficiency, Fewer Surprises
The new method of performance management will help District 7 deliver projects within the budgeted support costs.
As the funding environment becomes more challenging, transportation agencies nationwide are looking for ways to improve efficiencies. District 7 is no exception. In January, Deputy District Director Raja Mitwasi issued a new Deputy District Directive aimed at increasing efficiency and accountability through measuring and controlling support costs.
The directive calls for the use of a new performance measurement known as Earned Value Management, or EVM. EVM uses project scope, cost and schedule measures to help project management teams assess performance and progress. This information will improve their ability to deliver projects within budget and avoid unexpected cost increases.
EVM monitors and analyzes three key project dimensions: the budget for the planned work, the actual costs incurred to complete the work, and the value of the work performed, known as the “earned value.” The first two elements, budget and cost data, are collected from project work plans and timesheet charges. Using the new EVM tool, available on the District 7 intranet, managers can calculate earned value – sort of an ongoing project report card.
“Knowing the earned value helps the project team monitor the health of the project,” said Supervising Transportation Engineer Sam Ekrami, who led the team that developed the tool. “It allows them to better manage all the project elements to ensure on-time delivery within budget.”
All cost center owners who receive allocations from the Capital Outlay Support Program will use the tool to plan assignments and report progress.
In addition to improving project management, EVM can also enhance communication between supervisors and their direct reports, since performance expectations are set upfront and results are recorded with complete transparency. Simply put, it keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that there are no surprises.
To familiarize managers with EVM, a number of training session have been conducted in the past few months, and more may be offered in the future. An online tutorial is also available at http://10.56.3.8/pirs/taskmgmt/EVM_online_tutorial.ppt.