All this ensures that baselines are defined and managed in appropriate timescales and that adequate cost and resource loadings are undertaken to enable earned value analysis in accordance with the 'APM Earned Value Management Compass', which is performed at defined intervals.
Each project is monitored for its performance against scope, schedule, cost and quality. This provides transparency to the client team and focuses attention on areas of uncertainty. The documented process enables the necessary stakeholder reporting and analysis to be produced, without distracting project teams from their primary focus of project delivery.
- SEESA is a joint venture between Alstom Grid, Skanska and Mott MacDonald
- Key services include project/programme management and controls such as earned value management
- Client is National Grid
At previous audits, National Grid set a number of challenges for SEESA for an improvement in the alliance’s ‘earned value management’ capability. These were primarily targeted at:
- Improving the definition of responsibility and accountability
- Effectively allocating the schedule and resources
- Efficiently managing resources from plans
- Obtaining joint venture partner buy-in and client involvement
- Visible managing sponsorship of the earned value process
We have supported our alliance partners to significantly improve understanding and use of earned value management within the alliance. This has been achieved through:
- Implementing work package based plans to improve responsibility and accountability – using predetermined templates to give better visibility of the plans and oriented toward the designated task owners in the organisation.
- Using discipline codes (RACI ownership) has also been introduced to increase understanding of ownership of tasks and achievement to estimate.
- Introducing collaborative planning has enabled leaders and task owners to be actively involved with their peers in creating plans, providing greater ownership and control of budgets and responsibility for earned value management.
- SEESA has initiated the utilisation of project execution plans including statements of work. This clearly identifies roles and responsibilities of team members particularly with regard to how budgets are aligned with the scope and the individual responsibility for delivery to budget.
- To maintain and improve sponsorship of the earned value process, SEESA has introduced measures aimed at maintaining earned value management as a high profile element of project management.
- Monthly management reviews of project level earned value status reports are undertaken by senior management with standardised earned value reporting across all projects and functions.
- Earned value training courses have been instigated to communicate and educate about the application of data and its benefit in supporting delivery.
Value and benefits
- The latest earned value audit undertaken by National Grid noted the significant improvement in performance over the preceding year.
"The introduction of Peer Reviews has improved consistency and also highlights to the Project Team any areas for improvement or where there is inconsistency against process."
"Another initiative, Collaborative Planning, has also been introduced to reinforce the Project Team membership and the creation of a workable programme.”
- All stakeholders engaged to use earned value as a ‘single source of truth’ for programme performance and to embrace joint ownership of the programme.