Learnings from the PMI Benelux Day.
I went to the PMI Benelux Day today. The theme today was A symphony of Knowledge, a theme which ran through the plenary sessions topics. I choose to see the use of earned value techniques applied to the Galileo project presented by Francois Picaut. It was interesting to see how this technique was applied in a quite straightforward manner by just entereing the AC provided by the accountants and the EV provided by the products completed at roughly biweekly milestones. All other performance numbers were calculated from these numbers_._ One learning was that in the case of subcontracted work under a FFP contract, the EV = AC. Of course once you think it over this is evident, but this quarter took a while to drop. Some additional metrics were defined like the ES (Earned Schedule, or the time when the current EV should have been reached) and 'To Complete Performance Indexes' in their cost and scope variations. Apprently these metrics should show the effectiveness of the project management when plotted over time. He applied EVT on FFP projects with good success as part of project assurance. One anekdote was the case when the project manager presented a 'project on track' report while the EV calculations showed the project would end with a 1.000.000EUR loss. This triggered a discussion about the variances which triggered corrective actions. As such this proved the value of the method to confirm the results from bottom-up or other estimates. In the area of risk management presented Daniel vander Borcht a session about why the ABCD methodology works where so many other risk management approaches fail. ABCD stnds for Assumption Based Communication Dynamics and a key part is the central role of assumptions in this model. Next to the classic issue register and risk register a assumption register is introduced. I need to research this some more Jean Diederich presented the Test Monkeys and Banana Software talk. He made the case that thinking of testing still occurs way too late in the project. He proposes to involve tests at the earliest opportunity to help start the acceptance test design, release test design, ... in parallel to development rather than afterwards. This is the same story I heard from Suzanne Robertson a couple of weeks ago in the context of requirement gathering. This confirms again my conviction that a good requirements process will make life in the project considerably easier. A last presentation was by Hedda Pahlson-Muller regarding KPO's or knowledge process outsourcing. This was a very instructive talk which clarified this form of outsourcing. Roughly they provide analysts or other knowledge workers in the company the possibility to have an external team to do the legwork and provide collected data for further analysis by the company itself. Due to this business model they face a glass ceiling to the service they cannot deliver analysis or recommendations. For this they are looking for PM/Consultants to use their experience to analyse and interprete the data for the companies which ask this. Nice interesting day, bought a couple of books, talked PM with other people. Time well spent.