University of California, Irvine
Irvine Research Unit in Software (IRUS)
is proud to sponsor the

Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN)

Challenges in Applying Earned Value in Software Projects

Friday, September 24, 1999

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
McDonnell Douglas Auditorium
University of California, Irvine

There is a $15.00 charge for non-sponsors.
Checks should be made payable to UC Regents.

No reservations required.

Featured Speaker: Ray W. Stratton, President, Management Technologies,

The use of Earned Value as a project management tool is recognized world-wide as an industry best practice. Yet in software development Earned Value frequently results in frustration as the benefits derived seem less than the effort expended. This unfortunate experience often deters organizations from further use of Earned Value, or results in less rigorous implementations leading to even less benefit. Much of the difficulty in applying Earned Value to software projects is due to the very nature of software development. Requirements creep, code growth, unclear completion criteria, and system integration problems are examples of the challenges in applying Earned Value to software development. Additionally, system and software development has grown in complexity in the twenty-five years since Earned Value was first defined. Still we try to use the original concepts, unchanged. This talk will address the traps that are often encountered in the application of Earned Value. Recommendations and novel concepts will be presented to avoid these traps. Suggested refinements to the basic Earned Value concepts will be discussed to reduce the frustration and add to the benefit. Level-of-Effort (LOE) measurement, the meaningless method of recording accomplishment, will be addressed. Formulas to compensate Earned Value indicators for LOE will be shown to reduce the negative impact of this measurement scheme. Time will be allowed for significant discussions, questions, and challenges to the concepts discussed.


Mr. Stratton is founder and president of Management Technologies, a program management training and consulting firm. He has taught Technical Performance Measurement, Earned Value, Program Management Metrics and Software Project Management to US and foreign governments, educational institutions, and a wide range of industries. He is an instructor with the UCI University Extension, and CSULB's Systems and Software Engineering Forum for Training (SSEFT). He is also a member and seminar instructor for the Program Management Institute (PMI).

Ray W. Stratton has over twenty years experience as a software program manager in the development of radar, communication, and command and control projects. Previously he designed, developed, tested, and delivered real-time man-in-the-loop sensor based computer systems for a variety of military customers. He is a member of the Cal Poly Computer Science Industry Advisory Council and has also participated in the Cal Poly College of Engineering Dean's Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Defense Systems Management College Alumni Association (DSMCAA). He holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Electronic Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Coordinator: Cynthia Parish, CSULB/SSEFT,

UCI Maps and Directions to meeting are available.

Next Meeting:

Date: Friday, October 29, 1999
Topic: Key Aspects of Continuous Process Improvement - Experiences and Lessons Learned
Speaker: Don Dortenzo, Software Productivity Consortium
Coordinator: Leitha Purcell, Northrop Grumman,
The Irvine Research Unit in Software wishes to thank its corporate sponsors:


The Boeing Company * IBM * Microsoft Corporation * Northrop Grumman Corporation
Raytheon Company * Sun Microsystems * TRW


Beckman Coulter * FileNet Corporation * Printronix, Inc.
Continuus Software Corporation * Hewlett-Packard

For further information on SPIN or IRUS,

contact Debra Brodbeck at (949) 824-2260,

Irvine Research Unit in Software
Information and Computer Science
University of California, Irvine CA 92697-3425