The guidelines recommend defining variance thresholds; when the cost performance reports indicate a threshold breach in a control account, one can drill down to spot the problematic tasks. Actual costs, also known as actual cost of work performed (ACWP), is relatively straightforward. If you are using a robust project cost management software, tracking actual costs should not be a challenge. However, it’s important to remember to include several hidden costs—material, resource, hardware, software licenses, overheads, etc. EVM brings unparalleled benefits to any project with strict cost and schedule-compliance requirements.

Earned value management

As its name suggests, it breaks down the project into units of work, so that they can be assigned, scheduled, authorized, measured during production, and cost-accounted. The complexity of every WBS will depend on the scope and complexity of the project itself. It takes the traditional project management approach a few steps further and improves upon it to provide precise data – for project managers, clients, and employees alike. In this article, we covered a lot about earned value management and you learned the basics of what is required to meet the standards for government contracts.

Actual Costs (AC)

EVM helps quantify the value of project progress in real time, enabling project managers and stakeholders to anticipate future challenges based on past and present progress reports. Most importantly, it provides them with actionable data that can be used for proactive decision-making throughout the course of a project. To reinforce the argument of how important a control account manager is, the next section describes just a handful of the obligatory measurements used in EVM. There are formulas CAMs use to track progress along with the production, and they range from the basic ones used on smaller projects, to more complex and detailed ones required for large-scale projects. Wood asked Ten Six to assist with their Earned Value Management System for a major program for the USAF Space Fence Program.

The process documentation covers the steps, procedures and people involved in managing the project. The goal is to standardize the way project progress is reported and to ensure accurate data is collected, inputted and produced. There is a way to assign EV to those activities, so you can manage your whole project. We do that with ‘level of effort’ which means splitting the EV for the task evenly throughout the project.

Using Earned Value Management to Measure Project Performance

Schedule variance indicates the difference between where we planned to be in the schedule and where we are in the schedule. It is expressed as a difference between the earned value and the planned value. Again, this is an instance of how scope, time and cost come together to give you a clear picture of where you currently stand in your project. In turn, Systems (EVMS) refer to the software, processes, tools, and templates used for EVM.

What is earned value in PMP?

Earned value (EV) is a way to measure and monitor the level of work completed on a project against the plan. Simply put, it's a quick way to tell if you're behind schedule or over budget on your project. You can calculate the EV of a project by multiplying the percentage complete by the total project budget.

It projects how much more will be spent on the project, based on past performance. Schedule Performance Index is the rate at which the project performance is meeting schedule expectations up to a point in time. Cost variance is the difference between what we expected to spend and what was spent. It is expressed as a difference between earned value and the actual cost. We ensure that multiple activities are grouped under a single work package and multiple work packages are grouped under a single control account.

Calculating variances and indexes to follow the progress in EVM

It also shows the cumulative actual cost of the project (red line, labeled AC) through week 8. To those unfamiliar with EVM, it might appear that this project was over budget through Earned value management week 4 and then under budget from week 6 through week 8. However, what is missing from this chart is any understanding of how much work has been accomplished during the project.

The second limitation causing concern is that this methodology doesn’t include quality control. Since its main concern is work performed, the time of completion and the cost of it, there is no room for quality. A product could be delivered in time and with an admirable budget, only to fail to impress by the end of production. Or worse, a problem arises when poor quality of completed tasks starts to affect all the subsequent tasks and slows down production.

Earned Value (EV) measures deliverable progress in monetary terms (value of work done), allowing the project manager to quantify progress as a monetary value. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that makes measuring progress and performing EVM easy. With its real-time dashboard, project metrics are instantly calculated with live data and delivered in easy-to-read charts and graphs that can be shared with a keystroke. Calculating the schedule performance index involves dividing the EV by the PV to measure progress achieved against where you expected to progress at a certain point. If you’ve come up with a value less than 1.0, it means that you’ve done less work than you projected for this point.