Earned Value & Earned Schedule

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Location:  PMKI > Project Controls and Scheduling > Earned Value & Earned Schedule. 
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This subject looks at Earned Value Management (EVM) which, in conjunction with Earned Schedule, has proven itself to be one of the most effective performance measurement and feedback tools for managing projects. This subject looks at EV from a business
management perspective.

Topics included in Earned Value & Earned Schedule:

- Earned Value & Earned Schedule Overview
- Earned Value Processes
- Earned Schedule
- EV & ES Resources and Training
- Useful External Web-links & Resources.

Other related sections of the PMKI:

- EVM Software Tools
- PMBOK Cost and EV

Earned Value & Earned Schedule Overview

Earned Value Management (EVM) has proven itself to be one of the most effective performance measurement and feedback tools for managing projects. It is often referred to as 'management with the lights on' because it helps objectively and succinctly identify where a project is and where it is going. The methodology incorporates project scope, schedule and costs and uses the fundamental principle that patterns and trends in the past can be good predictors of the future. Timely and targeted feedback can enable project managers to identify problems early and make adjustments that can keep a project on time and on budget by closing the loop in the classic business formula, 'Plan, Do, Check, Act'.

EVMEVM provides organizations with the methodology needed to integrate the management of project scope, schedule, and cost. It can play a crucial role in answering management questions that are critical to the success of every project, such as:

  • Are we ahead of or behind schedule?
  • How efficiently are we using our time?
  • When is the project likely to be completed?
  • Are we under or over our budget?
  • What is the remaining work likely to cost?
  • What is the entire project likely to cost?
  • How much will we be under or over budget?

The project manager can use the EVM methodology to help identify:

  • Where problems are occurring
  • Whether the problems are critical or not
  • What it will take to get the project back on track.

Effective use of EVM requires the principles of good project management, as outlined in the PMBOK® Guide, to be used and requires the foundations of a well defined WBS and schedule. EVM adds a number of effective practices in the areas of project planning and control that are related to the goal of measuring, analysing, forecasting, and reporting cost and schedule performance data for evaluation and action by the project team, managers and other key stakeholders.

Art: Earned Value - An Introduction to Earned Value Performance Management. This paper provides a basic overview of the workings of 'Earned Value Management' that is consistent with ISO 21508, and describes how EVM assists in the effective management of projects.


Managing external contractors

Managers working in a business environment where key processes have been outsourced are battling to retain control over projects they are responsible for delivering or funding. The key issue they confront is their lack of direct authority to control the destiny of the project. This is caused in part by their lack of visibility of many key commercial processes and in part by the outsourcing model itself. Many levers previously used by project managers to control vendors working on their projects (eg hiring/firing authority, options for future work, payment provisions, knowledge of contracted rates, etc) have been taken away from the project managers working within the ‘client business’ and subsumed into an overall ‘outsource’ agreement.

To succeed in this environment, project managers need to use new techniques to regain effective control of their projects. One of the most effective is to harness the power of Earned Value Analysis to create a high level of visibility (particularly early in the project) and to use the persuasive power created by the regular reporting processes to regain control. Understanding trends and trend analysis is a key part of this process. This process must be implemented with a blend of psychology and technology to obtain the maximum benefit and should focus on helping the vendors become effective and profitable. In an outsourced environment, the clients project managers can only achieve success by making their outsourcing partner successful.

PP: Earned Value Business Management - Using EV to Manage Outsourced Contracts. The practical application of EVM to the management of external contractors and suppliers.



Earned Value Processes

WP: Earned Value Formulae. A summary of the basic values and formulae used in Earned Value calculations.

WP: Understanding the use of TCPI in EVM. The TCPI is the only EV metric that can provide a consistent measure of the likelihood of achieving a target total cost.

Art: The CPI Stability Myth. Research has found CPI stability is not a ‘given’ at the 20% or any other 'stage' of a project; and it rarely exists on small commercial projects.

Art: Earned Value Confusion = No Value. Using a variety of different acronyms to define the same variable damages the credibility of EV globally.



Earned Schedule

Art: Earned Schedule. A brief introduction to Earned Schedule.

Art: Predicting project completion. Earned Schedule and the 'P-Factor' - improving forecast completion estimates.

The official site for Earned Schedule (including the ES calculators) is at: http://www.earnedschedule.com/



EV & ES Resources and Training

EVMPractice Standard for Earned Value Management
The PMI Practice Standard for Earned Value Management expands on the earned value information in the PMBOK® Guide and is applicable across many Knowledge Areas and Process Groups. This practice standard is intended for anyone who wants to better develop their project management tool set and know how to potentially improve project performance through the use of earned value. The standard expands the available resources on the use of EVM for medium and smaller projects, whilst still being relevant for larger projects, provides insight and detailed explanations of the basic elements and processes of EVM, and demonstrates how to scale EVM to fit varying project sizes and situations. The PMI Practice Standard for Earned Value Management is available free of charge to PMI members as a non-printing PDF, see: https://www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-standards/framework

- Australian sales only from our web shop.

GAO GuideDownload the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide.



GAO GuideDownload the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Schedule Assessment Guide.



DOD-EVMIGDownload the U.S. DoD Earned Value Implementation Guide.  This guide is based on the implementation of EVM systems based on the 32 Guidelines contained in the Electronic Industries Alliance Standard-748 EVMS (EIA-748).  This approach to EVM developed in the 1960s and has largely been superseded by the performance based approach incorporated in ISO 21508 and the PMI Practice Standard for Earned Value Management.

EIA-748-D Standard for Earned Value Management Systems – dated August 2018. A copy of the standard may be purchased from Tech America (www.techamerica.org). EIA-748-D contains a set of 32 guidelines that define the requirements that an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) must meet and is the governing document for its application.


Earned Value Training

Earned Value Management Mentored Email™ Course. This self-paced, distance learning course, is designed to provide students with an understanding of the power of using Earned Value as a practical control and monitoring technique to deliver added value and insight from their overall project control process. At the end of the course, trainees will understand the benefits of using Earned Value as a practical control and monitoring technique designed to provide added value and insight to their overall project control process and appreciate the steps necessary to implement an effective EV system in their organization. The first module is available 'on-approval', you only pay if you decide the course is valuable: view course details.

Earned Value Management for Business. This workshop is designed to provide students with an understanding of the power of using Earned Value as a practical control and monitoring technique to deliver added value and insight from their overall project control process. The approach adopted is to assume everyone uses some form of software for EV, therefore rote learning of the formulae is pointless. What’s needed is an appreciation of the terms used and the value of the information created by the tools. Workshop available in half-day, one-day and two-day formats: view course details.



Useful External Web-links & Resources

Earned Schedule Site - The official site for Earned Schedule (including the ES calculators): http://www.earnedschedule.com/

College of Performance Management - The premiere organization for earned value management and control: http://www.mycpm.org/


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