Flashback: PMI Belgium Research

PMI Belgium Research Collaboration Fund

Value for money! And time for a refund?

Almost 8 years ago, in 2007, PMI Belgium gave an award, known as the PMI Research Collaboration Fund (RCF), to Mario Vanhoucke for the research on Earned Value Management and project control. At the PMI Belgium website, they describe the purpose of this research fund. More precisely, the purpose of this research funding was threefold, as follows:

  • To promote Belgian Project Management research
  • To translate results into white papers, available to members
  • To promote PMI Belgium outside the borders

Now, more than 7 years later, I am proud to give an update of the accomplishments made together with OR-AS colleague and friend Tom Van Acker and Fabricom friend Stephan Vandevoorde, with the many members of PMI Belgium and of course with my research team at OR&S on the three CRF targets.

Target 1. Promote research in Belgium: Throughout the years, I have given several presentations at PMI Belgium, mostly together with Stephan Vandevoorde (Fabricom) and Tom Van Acker (OR-AS). This collaboration has resulted in a yearly PMI-Belgium University Contest and best Master Thesis Awards, and hence, the students of the faculty of Economics and Business Administration have also contributed to target 1. Thank you, dear PM students! Moreover, the online learning tool PM Knowledge Center has started a few years ago and now contains more than 70 articles used by students at Ghent University and University College London. Finally, five books have been published (two by OR-AS and three by Springer) since the award, which you can find in the OR-AS bookstore, which couldn't have been written without the collaboration with PMI Belgium.

Target 2. White papers: One of the target was to write easy-to-read papers to a PM audience. The main target was (and still is) to translate the research published in international academic journals and books into short articles and white papers. The following white papers have been published, mainly in The Measurable News:

  • “Measuring the accuracy of earned value/earned schedule forecasting predictors”, The Measurable News in 2007.
  • “Project tracking and control: can we measure the time?”, Projects and Profits in 2008
  • “Earned value forecast accuracy and activity criticality”, The Measurable News in 2008
  • “Forecasting a project’s duration under various topological structures”, The Measurable News in 2009
  • “Measuring Time: An earned value performance management study”, The Measurable News in 2010
  • “Adding value to earned value analysis ”, PM World Today in 2011
  • “Dynamic scheduling: Integrating schedule risk analysis with earned value management”, The Measurable News in 2012
  • “Project Management using dynamic scheduling: Baseline scheduling, risk analysis and project control”, The Measurable News in 2013
  • "Measuring schedule adherence", The Measurable News in 2013
  • "Gerenciamento Integrado de Controles De Projetos: Primeiro vem a teoria, e então a prática", Mundo Project Management in 2014
  • "Introdução à duração agregada", Mundo Project Management in 2015

Target 3. Promotion outside Belgium: The keynote speech given by Mario Vanhoucke and Stephan Vandevoorde on de EVM World conference in Florida in 2012 was inspiring for us, me and Stephan, and showed how European Research can inspire American practitioners. A nice experience and interesting for everyone. Moreover, our yearly conference of EVM Europe will now go into its fifth edition and interested readers can download the following press releases written by Kym Henderson or Mark Philips:

  • 2009: EVA Europe initiative lifts off with a successful EVA-1 conference
  • 2010: EVM Europe initiative continues to develop
  • 2011: EVM Europe initiative maintains momentum
  • 2012: EVM Europe: Top ten observations (written by M. Philips)
  • 2013a: EVM Europe: Plans for 2013
  • 2013b: CPM global initiatives continue to evolve
  • 2013c: Top Five Observations from EVM Europe 2013
  • 2013d: EVM Europe conference Initiative achieves stability

Conclusion: I believe I can conclude that the mission is 100% accomplished. But research never stops, and the translation from research to business doesn't stop either. We have many, many, many more ideas how to move the PM field forward. So let's continue with what we do... and... the main conclusion is then of course: Time for a refund :-)!

For those who want to see how we looked like more than 7 years ago, see the following article at the Measurable News "PMI-CPM Collaboration Extends to Europe".