From The Editor

First, a sincere apology to Rick Robinson, whose article Collaborative software helps systems engineers link performance and cost was wrongly attributed to myself when the February Newsletter went to print. (It made me wonder if Gutenberg became the inadvertent author of the Bible when he produced the first printed version back in the 15th Century.)

In this Issue we have a mix of new insights on big data, teaching & learning, and program/project cost & schedule management.

“Google Flu Trend is an amazing piece of engineering and a very useful tool, but it also illustrates where ‘big data’ analysis can go wrong,” This warning comes from a March 13, 2014 Science Daily report on work by University of Houston researchers, published recently in the Science journal. See below, When big isn’t better: How the flu bug bit Google.

“You may want to rethink your notions of psychology and its place in the learning environment” says author Saga Briggs in an Innovation Excellence blog posted on February 11, 2014. In 35 Psychological Tricks To Help You Learn Better, Sara’s advice is relevant in all areas of teaching and learning, see brief extract below (the first 12tricks.)

“Schedule performance indicators calculated with conventional EVM are deficient for the majority of commercial projects and, as such, they shouldn’t be used in schedule performance management. They are not just less precise, they are fundamentally wrong.”

These and similar strong opinions are part of a debate between project managers over the past 11 years on the use of the Earned Schedule (ES) predictor as an extension of the traditional Earned Value Management (EMV) tool. See below, The Program/Project Cost & Schedule Management Debates.

Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

when-big-isnt-better-how-the-flu-bug-bit-google/When big isn’t better: How the flu bug bit Google

“Traps in Big Data Analysis… without context, a number may just be a number, or worse, misleading.”

35 Psychological Tricks To Help You Learn Better

“Below are 35 proven psychological phenomena that affect you and your students every day:”

The Program/Project Cost & Schedule Management Debates

“One of the notable features around ES has been the amount of hostility towards the concept generated by traditional Earned Value advocates.”


Ted Smillie

QESP Chairman