Friends with Benefits - Lessons from Applying Earned Value Management on Agile Programs
Applying Agile practices on Government programs brings with it unique challenges not present in most commercial applications, one of which being requirements for applying Earned Value Management (EVM). Many people in both the EVM and Agile communities thought these two were inherently incompatible. In 2012 a small group of Lockheed Martin Agile development methodology and Earned Value Management subject matter experts got together and created an Earned Value Management for Agile Programs Guidebook, leveraging their respective experiences over many years and many programs. They demonstrated that not only was Agile compatible with EVM, but provided extremely rigorous data for determining percent complete and for forecasting. With that in hand, what could go wrong?
Fast forward to 2015; many programs applying agile methods have now done so while satisfying EVM requirements. These programs have established successful performance management processes, but not without encountering challenges that they had to overcome along the way. This presentation will share what has worked, what has not, and what EVM for Agile lessons learned these programs have provided that are shaping the current Lockheed Martin recommendations for performing EVM on Agile programs. The briefing will also include lessons learned from participation in several cross-industry and government/industry working groups, with highlights on the commonalities and differences. The lessons show that not only are EVM and Agile compatible, but complementary (friends with benefits) enabling coexistence in a harmonious relationship.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
The briefing will step through the 5 key topic areas:
- Work Breakdown Structure
- Program Planning
- Integrated Master Schedule
- Control Account Hierarchy
Each topic area will describe initial recommendations and lessons learned in application. This will be followed by a brief “do’s and don’ts” summary and discussion of remaining challenges.
An understanding that EVM and Agile are very compatible and actually complementary. The natural products of Agile teams provide excellent objective metrics to support traditional earned value measures. However, that doesn’t means it’s easy and doesn’t require a reevaluation of long held beliefs and premises. The lessons learned demonstrate some of those challenges and potential methods to address.
This session is applicable to those who work in the Government contracting sphere and want to ensure the integrity of core Agile practices along with ensuring the integrity of the technical, budget, and schedule baselines.