Peak performance

To complete projects as planned, many of today’s most progressive project managers are using earned value management (EVM) as a standard tool for monitoring project performance, controlling project costs and schedule, and forecasting potential project problems. This article discusses how seven project professionals use EVM systems to manage high-profile projects--such as Spain’s Expo98 (also known as the Lisbon World’s Fair) and Euro2004™ (the European Cup games). It describes EVM’s components and suggests that project managers develop baseline measures for controlling cost, time, and technical challenges. It also explains how project managers can gauge project performance and how they can use prior project performance information to negotiate project fees and schedules with contractors. It describes how one United Kingdom (UK) firm--Taylor Woodrow--is tracking previous project performance among various UK construction trades and using this information to create a database listing general project performance standards for the various trades, information they use to plan and schedule projects and make project decisions. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: The first discusses the trickle-down effect that government-mandated EVM use is having on traditional profit-driven companies; the second explains a system that can help project managers translate EVM data into executive-friendly project reports.
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