Project Management

Uses of Earned Value Management to Save the Project

 As a Project Manager, I use the Earned Value Management (EVM) technique. It answers questions such “am I on schedule”, “have I met my budget goals” and “what will my project cost as predicted when the planning phase was done”. It uses many equations to figure this out. I make a habit of not only having engineers register the tie time they spent each day but also how much time they anticipate spending to complete the task.


It is the nature of software estimating that you know more about the task as you go along doing the task. Let’s say your original estimate was 40 hours. If 20 hours goes by you are not necessarily 50% done with the task. If you have the hours spent each day as well as the remaining work to be done, you may be over or under the original estimate. It is the Project Manager’s job to keep tight track on the work being done. If you find out a task is slipping early on in the project, you have plenty of time to recover. If you don’t find out until a week before the project is due, you have little control over saving the project.


In summary, EVM strategically augments good project management to facilitate the planning and control of cost and schedule performance. The key practices of EVM include:


·          Establish a performance measurement baseline (PMB)

·          Decompose work scope to a manageable level (work items) in WBS.     

·          Assign unambiguous management responsibility

·          Develop a time-phased budget for each work task

·          Select EV measurement techniques for all tasks

·          Maintain integrity of PMB throughout the project

·          Measure and analyze performance against the baseline

·          Record resourced during the project to be used in future planning

·          Objectively measure the physical work progress

·          Credit EV according to EV techniques

·          Analyze and forecast cost/schedule performance

·          Report performance problems and/or take action.

I have a requirement of never surprising my manager and ask my reports to never surprise me. This leads to a well managed project and a happy team!


September 21, 2008 - Posted by | earned value | , , ,

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