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Articles -> MS Project -> Earned Value Analysis
 Overview  | Example    

Earned value analysis is a procedure of measuring the cost of work performed up to the status date or current date.

Earned value uses the original estimates saved with a baseline and progress of the plan reported on the project to determine whether the project is on track in terms of duration and cost.

Earned value is always specific to a status date. Status date may be the current date, a date in the past, or a date in the future. Setting the status date to the date you last updated project progress is always the best practice.

Earned Value compares the following information:
  • Planned Value: How much work you planned to have completed by now (usually calculated in dollars or hours)
  • Actual Cost: How much you have actually spent by now (usually calculated in dollars or hours)

Please note that all the following Earned Value terms will be expressed in terms of dollars (cost).
  • Baseline Cost or BAC(Budgeted at Completion): The Baseline Cost fields show the total planned cost for a task, a resource for all assigned tasks, or for work to be performed by a resource on a task. Baseline cost is also referred to as budget at completion (BAC).

  • BCWP (Budgeted cost of work performed): How much did we budget for the work we’ve done?

    BCWP is the cost of the task work actually done. BCWP is also called as Earned Value.

    Earned value uses your original cost estimates saved with a baseline and your actual work to date to show whether the actual costs incurred are on budget.)

    i.e. BCWP = % complete * Baseline Cost till Status Date

  • BCWS (Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled): How much work should be done by now?

    The BCWS (budgeted cost of work scheduled) fields contain the cumulative time phased baseline costs up to the status date or today's date.

  • ACWP (Actual cost of work performed): This field shows the actual cost incurred on a task. (How much did we actually spend till Status Date). This is a cumulative sum of the actual cost incurred on a task as of status date.

  • CV (Cost Variance): The difference between the budgeted cost (BCWP) and actual cost (ACWP)is called as Cost Variance.

    CV = BCWP - ACWP

    If the CV is negative value, it implies that the task is currently over budget. If the CV is positive value, it implies that the task is currently under the budgeted amount.

  • SV (Schedule Variance): The difference between the BCWP and BCWS is called SV.

    SV = BCWP - BCWS

    If the SV is negative value, it implies that the project is currently behind schedule. If the SV is positive value, it implies that the project is currently ahead of the schedule in terms of cost.
  • CPI (Cost Performance Index): Ratio of budgeted cost of work performed to actual costs of work performed.

    CPI = BCWP/ACWP

    CPI < 1 indicates an over budget condition

  • SPI (Schedule Performance Index): The ratio of the budgeted cost of work performed to the budgeted cost of work scheduled.

    SPI = BCWP/BCWS

    SPI < 1 indicates a behind schedule condition


Please refer the example to unserstand the earned value concept and calculations of EV fields.



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