Project Management

Earned Value: Looking for an Easy Way to Implement It

Williams Chirinos

What is Earned Value?

Earned  value is the value that you get after spending or investing resources during the execution of projects. It is the most powerful technique used to determine the current status of projects because it is based on the physical work completed. A comparison between the resources planned to be spent (budget) and the resources spent (actual cost) is not sufficient to determine the project status and performance; it is necessary to include in the comparison the actual work accomplished in order to really understand the level of completion of a project.

Use of Earned Value with a Better Scope Definition

One of the reasons why earned value has rarely been used is because of the current practice to determine the project progress through the activity/task-based percentage complete approach, which is not only an indirect method to determine physical completion, but also incorporates subjectivity into the measurements.

To illustrate this, let us suppose we have a project with the objective of generating a Software Commercial Application. Under the current practices, we list all the activities or tasks required to finish the project and include them in a schedule; once the execution starts we estimate the percentage of the work completed indirectly against the completion of each activity or task.

Instead, we should focus our attention …

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