Work in Progress Earned Value Management (“WIPing” EVM into Shape?)

Remi St-Martin, and David Fannon

This article presents a variant on the use of schedule performance index (SPI) and schedule variance (SV) to manage schedule performance and includes a description, rationale, and explanation on how to apply the technique. An actual project, as well as examples, are used to illustrate the value and application of the technique. A basic understanding of earned value management (EVM) is required to understanding the article, whereas actual practice using earned value management, schedule performance index, and schedule variance is recommended.

Earned value management is the standard for measuring project schedule and cost performance. A refinement of the basic technique focuses on work in progress (WIP) and provides project managers with greater insights into schedule performance. Earned value management uses an accumulation of the value of work performed (expressed here in dollars) to measure schedule performance against a baseline plan. Using work in progress activities, earned value management becomes much more focused on what is currently happening relative to project schedule performance.

This technique discounts the accumulated value, which can be quite significant in large projects and can mask issues in schedule performance. This article describes the technique of work in progress earned value management, how it can be used to enhance and augment schedule …

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