Agile Earned Value Management (EVM) for Scrum Projects

The IT arena is well acquainted with the concept of Agile Earned Value Management (Agile EVM). For one thing, it has been in existence for more than 50 years. Secondly, it has proved to be a splendid assistant for project managers. Noting this, the private sector has begun to use it in the Scrum framework too, over the last decade or so.

Earlier, they hesitated to do so, since they felt the whole thing to be a rather difficult process. Today, however, the entire scenario has changed. Genuine institutions, such as Simplilearn, keen to impart knowledge about the latest in the IT field, offer certification in courses, like Scrum Master training, to interested individuals.

An Introduction to EVM

Now, whenever an organization initiates a project, it expects a certain kind of performance as the outcome. However, there may be challenges and changes along the way. Thanks to the entry of EVM, it becomes possible to receive information about potential problems that might affect technical performance.

In order to do this, EVM takes recourse to an easy-to-comprehend set of valuable metrics. This is necessary, because these issues may lead to adverse effects on schedules and budget too. Then again, various stakeholders must know what is happening. Thus, the project manager and his/her team find it easy to take timely action and prevent future chaos and catastrophe. Desirable adjustments come into play as quickly as possible, thereby enabling full concentration on progress and nothing else.

The entry of EVM into Agile Projects

As mentioned earlier, too many people were skeptical about EVM techniques prior. In fact, many felt that they were too traditional and would not find it easy to keep up with changing requisites of a digitalized environment. However, when Agile experimented with EVM for its projects, it exhibited wonderful compatibility with the Agile platform! Authentic, innovative technicians have modified the traditional techniques in order to make them more user-friendly and lightweight in nature.

Regardless, the gains that the conventional methods of EVM offered showed up in the modifications too. Therefore, the methods utilized for creating the Agile software programs are of excellent quality, quicker, more adaptable to trending business practices, and in alignment with fluctuating market conditions. As a result, Agile EVM is suitable for both simple and scaled Agile projects. In other words, single teams and multiple teams, as well as short-term and long-term projects, may benefit. Above all, Agile EVM is not expensive.

Agile EVM for Scrum Projects

The Agile EVM has not intruded into Scrum projects without a definite reason! For instance, cost control had become a confusing issue for both Agile and Scrum. This is the development of Agile software that generally took place on a Scrum framework. No one could understand much about cost efficaciousness since certain metrics were blurred. They included sprint burnout, velocity, story points, feature count, etc.

How could business establishments fill this gap, which was ruining their Scrum projects?

They found their answer in the Agile Earned Value Management approach. The approach offers several rewards. To illustrate, size, complexity, etc., are abstract variations. When expenses and time metrics enter the scenario, it becomes easier to comprehend them. This is because these metrics are visible.

Then again, it is easy to keep track of performance, budget, and schedule via the Agile EVM. Therefore, during the entire duration of the concerned project, the manager and his/her team can adhere to sensible schedules for completion of various tasks. In turn, it becomes easy to predict outcomes. Staying within the budget poses no difficulty.

A variable renowned as the Scope Floor Variable is excellent for reflecting scope alterations.

Finally, comparisons of values show up well. These values relate to planning, earnings, and costs. Planned value refers to the importance granted to the project that the team has decided to complete on a specific date. It also refers to the budget that the organization has allotted for this particular project. Scrum experts would simply state that planned value was a reference to the sum of every approximated feature size for every single feature, right up to the date decided for completion of the project.

With regard to earned value, it is a reference to technical performance, commonly renowned as work. Here, value has no connection with business value or actual expenditure. In other words, how much work has the team completed (earned) in comparison to the work planned for that particular date? Thus, the earned value and planned value follow the same schedule. Scrum experts define earned value as the total of the approximated story points for all the features, right up to the calculation date.

The actual cost has no hidden meaning! It refers to the expenditure that the team incurs on all the features.

To sum up, Agile EVM provides an objective measurement of both performance and progress, by taking recourse to the latest information available. Its predictions are accurate. It brings costs, scope, and time under one umbrella, thereby ensuring the success of any project.

Potential Limitations of Agile EVM

It is simply not possible for any program to be perfect! Therefore, Agile EVM may exhibit potential limitations, too, albeit in specific contexts only. It is imperative that users be aware of the risks that may show up later.

To begin with, it would be wise to keep this technology away from projects where the team has to work continuously. In fact, it becomes hard to determine the amount of effort that must come into play. Similarly, Agile EVM cannot promise accurate measurements in projects, which demand a combination of both non-discrete and discrete efforts.

Then again, the data related to accounting and expenditure must be accurate, if Agile EVM has to function correctly. If it were missing, it would be good to utilize this program only for lengthy projects and large systems. It is equally important that such data be up-to-date at all times. Errors and misreporting will destroy EVM calculations.

Regardless of such challenges, however, even small organizations can take recourse to Agile EVM for managing their projects. This way, the public will receive better products/services.

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