In Response to May Letter to Editor by Piney



By Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo

Jakarta, Indonesia

21 May 2023

Ref: Ref: Piney, C. (2023). On the Subject of Earned Value Management and some recently cited examples, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj129-May2023-Piney-evm-and-recently-cited-examples-Letter-to-Editor.pdf

Dear David and Subscribers,

I would like to respond to Kik Piney’s “LETTER TO THE EDITOR” dated 28 April 2023 Ref: Piney, C. (2023). On the Subject of Earned Value Management and some recently cited examples, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue V, May.

Below are my specific responses/clarification to Kik’s Letter: [CKP] are Kik Piney’s comments, [PDG] are Dr. Paul Giammalvo’s responses.

[CKP] Dear David, I would like to add the following comments on some of the ideas in the article by Dr. Paul Giammalvo (Dr. PDG) on Earned Value Management (EVM) in the April edition of PM World Journal.

[PDG] Many thanks for taking the time to review and respond to my case studies. Consistent with the 5 attributes of the Scientific Method, I appreciate your challenges and providing me with the opportunity to respond, consistent with the tenets of the Scientific Method:

  • Empirical Observation The scientific method is empirical. That is, it relies on direct observation of the world and disdains hypotheses that run counter to observable fact. This contrasts with methods that rely on pure reason (including that proposed by Plato) and those that rely on emotional or other subjective factors.
  • Replicable Experiments Scientific experiments are replicable. If another person duplicates the experiment, he or she will get the same results. Scientists are supposed to publish enough of their method so that another person with appropriate training could replicate the results. This contrasts with methods that rely on experiences unique to a particular individual or a small group of individuals.
  • Provisional Results Results obtained through the scientific method are provisional; they are (or ought to be) open to question and debate. If new data arise that contradicts a theory, that theory must be modified. For example, the phlogiston theory of fire and combustion was rejected when the evidence against it arose.
  • Objective Approach The scientific method is objective. It relies on facts and the world as it is rather than on beliefs, wishes, or desires. Scientists attempt (with varying degrees of success) to remove their biases when making observations.
  • Systematic Observation, Strictly speaking, the scientific method is systematic; that is, it relies on carefully planned studies rather than on random or haphazard observation. Nevertheless, science can begin from some random observation. Isaac Asimov said that the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny.” After the scientist notices something funny, he or she investigates it systematically.

With PMI in the process of rewriting its PMBOK Guide[1], as well as the efforts to create an “EVM Manifesto”, I believe it is essential that we all agree that anything being published on “Applied Project Management” should demonstrate the ability to meet the 5 attributes of the Scientific Method.[2]

[CKP] The first issue that he addresses is the existing resistance to the wider adoption of EVM. As he has shown in his multiple references, the foundational concepts of scientific management and “payment for performance” predate EVM’s development, which was formalized in 1967.


To read entire Letter to the Editor, click here

How to cite this work: Giammalvo, P. D. (2023). In Response to May Letter to Editor by Piney, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj130-Jun2023-Giammalvo-in-response-to-may-Piney-Letter-to-Editor.pdf

[1] “PMBOK Guide Sunset Plan FAQS” (April, 2022) https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/pmbok-standards/faq-pmbok-guide-sixth-edition-retirement.pdf?v=03823aaf-cb53-403b-9571-c61460a176aa
[2] “Five Characteristics of the Scientific Method” (April 2018) https://sciencing.com/five-characteristics-scientific-method-10010518.html