Earned Value and Microsoft Project

I suppose this is a case study, more or less, just about what a self-sufficient resource can do armed with Project Management Experience, Microsoft Project, MS Excel and some of VBA encoding.
One of my beliefs is that you can get excellent results by bringing in an outside resource now and again to go over your projects or maybe to facilitate one troublesome project for compliance. Now, this is where I come in; having skills in project management, am open-minded, and come with a number of tools and skills together with Microsoft project, MS Project and Microsoft Excel integration, and some purpose-built tools I have developed.
I recall one particular project which was to refurbish boilers at a processing plant, the funds for the first boiler were $7 million, the management was concerned by the lack of visibility, and a funny feeling that it just wasn’t right, and they wanted to do 4 boilers, so they brought me in to have a look.
The project manager said everything was ok,
Just look at my weekly reports he said, and oh my goodness you should have seen the reports, they took a full-time resource 7 days a week to administer, – for a $7 mil project what’s the world coming too – whoops I’m drifting, let’s get back to the story.
I started from scratch and analysed the project using techniques from earned value analysis, a detailed review of the MS Project Schedules, and a correction of the Microsoft project schedule logic, it took me a week, but at the end of that period, I had a prediction, and this was that if they did not address the situation the budget would blow out to $12.1 mil (that’s about a 73% increase) and the scheduled delivery would extend by 2 months, the key here being unless they did something about it this would happen.
And that’s the point of these predictions if you don’t do anything about it and keep on as you are currently working – this is what will come to pass.
Anyway as it turned out, I advised management at the refinery that their project was going to blow out by both time and budget, and in the process left my Earned Value Program with them so they could monitor from there on with the procedure. The Engineering and Maintenance Manager was very concerned, not just for this boiler but for the 3 others that had to be done as separate sequential stages. There followed reviews over the next few weeks, I was gone by now, the project manager argued the earned value system was obviously floored (or I was) as – it’s all under control. The vendor had assured him of that.
I suspect the CEO was prepared to pay to prove my scenario was right so they would know for future projects, so he said OK carry on to the Project Manager, but on-your head-be-it.
I kept in touch and was both pleased from one perspective and disappointed from another, but by the time the first boiler was completed the cost had blown out to $12.3 mil and the schedule overrun by 2 months. They used my model and guidelines for the other 3 boilers and they all came in on time and on budget – Oh did I tell you they also had a different PM, so only one thing left:
Does anyone out there need a Project Manager without ahead?

John Abrams Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry for the last 5 years. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup

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