Measuring Performance on High-Volume Programmes

Adam Rome
High-volume programmes often exhibit deficiencies during the control of change. This can prevent accurate forecasting and monitoring of performance.

Earned value management principles are overcoming these challenges on a global telecommunications supplier’s fibre network upgrade programme. The programme incorporates an expansion and upgrade of a global telecommunications supplier's fixed national network asset, a critical step in their 4G network roll-out. This is a high-volume programme where earned value management principles became a key tool for effectively managing performance.

Earned value management is an industry recognised management process used to monitor time, cost and scope...

Earned value management is an industry recognised management process used to monitor time, cost and scope on projects and programmes against defined benchmarks establish during initiation. Adopting these management principles encourages the programme’s levels of earned value of works to be accurately monitored. This yields benefits in the management of project and ultimately programme performance, as well as integrating schedule and cost into a single reporting mechanism.

Recognising Value

Earned value management principles can also be used to accurately monitor and manage forecast costs and spend, whilst highlighting the realisation of value through the measurement of all completed works and enabling forecasts. On the fibre network upgrade programme, it was essential to recognise the global telecommunications supplier's objectives of achieving success in terms of delivering operational networks within an establish budget, in order to produce the parameters for which value is calculated. We developed reporting structures to monitor the completion of key activities in the lifecycle of each of the c.3000 Work Packages aligned to a custom work breakdown structure. It is essential to monitor all value-yielding tasks by recognising contractor-led feasibility studies and designs provide earned value, in addition to physical build elements.

Managing Change

All programmes or projects require stringent change control processes in order to assess performance accurately. However, in high volume programmes, capturing pre-and post-contract changes is critical for highlighting deviations from planned scope, as these impact cost and schedule. Earned value management principles were also used for funding management, using forecast value reporting to provide accurate data. This ensures that sufficient funding is available, whilst providing the flexibility to monitor funding across several projects and / or work packages.

Monitoring Performance

Earned value management principles provides visibility through a standardised project control approach to high-volume programmes by integrating project scope, time and cost objectives, designed to measure performance against a benchmark and act as a method of avoiding performance reporting issues. The techniques utilised were critical for the assessment of accurate earned and forecast values, used to report performance to wider stakeholder audiences through a quantitative assessment of success through delivery of the programme.

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