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Topics: Agile, Earned Value Management, Scrum
Is EVM a good tool for Agile / Scrum projects?

Do you think Earned Value Management is a good tool to implement tracking the agile project? Mainly from the perspective of continuous changes to the plan and delivery - the whole picture that EVM generates will change time to time. What is your recommendation?
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Diwakar -

EVM is applicable to any type of project so long as the prerequisites for its usage are met including - objective determination of what has been accomplished to date and the actual costs of that work as well as work package-level cost estimation.

When we use actual velocity to re-forecast the number of sprints required to complete the backlog we are effectively using an adapted version of EVM.


You can do it with a mixture of story points in the backlog such total points in the backlog, how many points earned thus far, how many points were added to the backlog this month etc.

You can search into the internet works about it including some created by Scrum and Agile Software Manifesto creators. it works, I use it.

Which flavor of Agile? Some might be easier than others.

If you have a product backlog that is not fully defined, with the majority of the stories not estimated, how would you use EVM, without significant modifications? I would imagine that using EVM on an agile project would exaggerate some of the well-documented weaknesses of EVM.

If you have a product backlog that is fully defined with all stories estimated, and it's early in the project, you can use EVM, but some would question whether or not your project has been agile up to this point.

One approach is AgileEVM:

I haven't used AgileEVM; it was one of the first results and looks interesting.

2 points..
1. Story points can be a very effective means of measurement for Earned Value. How many total story points are in your project? How many completed thus far? vs. how many should be completed by now? Convert to monetary values and you got it.

2. Use EVM but keep a historical record of your variables.
Some changes are minor, but if you have any change in time, cost or scope (i.e. more stories and more story points)- by definition, you have a change in your performance measurement baseline. That will affect everything else you are trying to measure with EVM.

Agree with above contributions. Using story points as a way to measure burndown/up, velocity, remaining, etc. You can combine with EVM, for example, to determine SPI and CPI. I've linked a couple of examples I found on the subject.

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