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Unformatted text preview: e Figure 8-7), you are ahead of
schedule and underspent. This generally happens because the original estimate was too conservative
(probably padded for safety). Another possibility is that you had a lucky break. You thought the work
would be harder than it was, so you got ahead. Sometimes it happens because people worked much
more efficiently than you expected. The problem with this variance is that it ties up resources that could
have been used on other projects. The economists call this an opportunity cost.
There is also a good chance that if you consistently pad estimates and bid against other companies on projects,
you will probably lose some bids, especially if your competitor is using average values for time estimates
while you are padding yours. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home
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EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. www.erpvn.net Fundamentals of Project Management
by James P. Lewis
ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Date: 01/01/95
Search Tips Search this book: Advanced Search Previous Table of Contents Next Title Measuring Progress Using Percent Complete
The most common way to measure progress is simply to estimate percent complete. This is the BCWP
measure, but BCWP is expressed as a dollar value, whereas percent complete does not make that conversion. ----------- When percent complete measures are plotted over time, they often produce a curve like the one shown in
Figure 8-8. The curve rises more or less linearly up to about 80 or 90 percent, then turns horizontal (meaning
that no further progress is being made). The curve stays horizontal for a while, until all of a sudden the work
The reason for this common profile is that problems are often encountered near the end of the task, requiring a
lot of effort to solve them. While that is being done, no progress is being made toward completing the project.
Another part of the problem is in knowing where you are to begin with. We have already said that you are
generally estimating progress. Consider a task that has a ten-week duration. If you ask the person doing that
task where he is at the end of the first week, he is likely to tell you, “I’m 10 percent along.” At the end of
week 2, he’ll probably say, “About 20 percent finished.” And so on. What he is doing is making a reverse
inference. It goes like this. “It is the end of the first week on a ten-week task, so I must be 10 percent
complete.” The truth is, he really doesn’t know where he is. Naturally, under such conditions, control will be
very loose. Still, it is the only way progress can be measured in many cases. Figure 8-8 Percent complete curve. What Are Acceptable Variances?
The only answer that can be given to this quest...
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