Monday, April 11, 2005

Earned Value Analysis, Part II

OK, maybe I can make an early wrap-up of this wonkery. There are many important ways that Earned Value Analysis can be used to measure how work is going, providing, where necessary daily feedback to a client, a service provider, a regional center or the state.

One of these compares Earned Value (EV, the extent to which progress has been made against a goal) to something called Planned Value, the extent to which progress should have been made by the same point. Remember that Earned Value can be broken down into single steps, or even discrete portions of single steps. The ratio produced by dividing Earned Value by Planned Value allows an individual client to measure the success of their program, providing advice to the client or the service provider as to how successful their supports have been to any given point in time. For regional centers and the state, this ratio aggregated provides a comparable measure for external evaluation of a program or vendor. A high individual or aggregated ratio (in comparison) demonstrates that a program has been effective in assisting a client with their purpose.

Another important metric (EAC) compares EV with Actual Costs (AC, it means what it says.) This is a measure of efficiency which provides feedback to the agency as to whether it's service plan is being implemented effectively. This provides a useful metric for a service provider to identify supports which may have problems in effectiveness. Individual support plans which have an unusually low ratio of EV over AC are likely to have problems which have not been identified. For example an employee whose work typically has an unusually low EAC is a good candidate for additional training or discipline. Another example, an individual support which produces an especially low EAC vis-a-vis others in the same program with the same staff would be a good support for review as to whether there are unnoticed factors adversely affecting performance, such as the learning style of the client or environmental factors.


Anonymous said...

1. What if the agreements, reached in the beginning, change or evolve as movement is made toward the goal?

2. Do you tend to lean more toward Weber or Durkheim in your analysis of institutions?

3. What should anchor decisions about the appropriate level of intrusiveness by public authorities in a self-determined service model?

Doug said...

Anonymous, thank you for incisive questions (the second one maybe too incisive for the poor respondent.) This seemed worth a separate post. See above.