Not tried and found wanting,. found difficult and therefore not tried

With respect to earned value management Scott Ambler writes

The fundamental problem with EVM is that it has very little to do with earning value and everything to do with managing against what often proves to be naive/fictitious schedules and estimates committed to far too early in the project.

Although EVM can in fact be applied to agile projects, in my opinion EVM is a questionable practice, regardless of paradigm. Organizations that are trying to govern their IT project teams should monitor them in such a way that accurate and timely information is presented. This is clearly not the case with EVM. We have significantly better options available to us. Let’s adopt them. More on this in future blog postings.

HT Glen Alleman

Now compare to what Ken Schwaber has to say about SCRUM usage in response to claims that “SCRUM fails”

The teams in these organizations change the quality of a Sprint’s increment so the predictions become true. Some managers like to believe that a team or organization will only succeed through the application of their own and only their own intelligence and insights.

Ken’s description in a so called agile SCRUM environment is very similar to Scott’s complaints about EVM. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a user problem.

A method or process cannot be properly judged inadequate if it was not tried faithfully. Or as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.


About Bill Nichols

PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University I'm a software team coach and instructor with the TSP Team at the Software Engineering Institute
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2 Responses to Not tried and found wanting,. found difficult and therefore not tried

  1. Bill,

    Scott has confused many things, not the least the “value” in Earned Value, with the “value” in business value.

    The application of EV for projects that either require it or should require it in conjugation with Agile Software Development, is important in many domains. As we’ve talked before, DoD IT is one of those. Maybe Scott will attend the NDIA ISS conference in the fall and join a panel to discuss how this might all come together for the NDAA Section 804 work.

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