What is earned value management? And how to implement it

Contract management automation

Earned value management (EVM) is a process that helps manage the cost, quality, and schedule of projects. It is based on the concept that value is created when work is completed and accepted by the customer.

Earned value management is a key part of effective program management and requires understanding what is valuable to the organization. It is used to measure the performance of the project or program in relation to the budget. Earned value analysis reports provide critical information about the current status of the project or program. This information can be used to make informed business decisions. There are several ways to implement earned value management in your organization. Read on to learn more!

Background of Earned Value Management

Earned value management is a data-driven process to measure and control performance over time for a complex project that spans several months or more. It enables the project team to manage cost, schedule, and quality in real-time throughout the entire project lifecycle. One of the main purposes of using EVM is to identify problems early in the project to avoid major delays and cost overruns. 

This method is called Project Control and consists of using activity-based costing and budgeting, plan versus actual comparisons, and budget variance analysis to determine the variances from the baseline. The budget refers to the project’s cost, while the baseline refers to the estimated total cost at the beginning of the project.

Benefits of implementing earned value management

Earned value management offers more information than traditional tracking strategies. It provides a complete view of what has been delivered, when it was delivered, and at what cost. Implementing earned value management can help project teams plan more efficiently and manage budgets more effectively. Because the project schedule is constantly evolving as work is completed and delivered, earned value consulting allows project managers to understand where the money is going and how it’s being spent throughout the project lifecycle. 

The EVM system is an effective tool for helping organizations monitor and manage a project’s progress in real-time. It also offers an early warning when there may be a problem with the project that can’t be immediately resolved and provides stakeholders with a clear understanding of the project’s status. 

The EVM system can help improve communication between team members and other stakeholders on the project. Metrics such as forecast variance earned value rate and schedule of completion provide people with the information they need to evaluate the progress and overall success of the project and help identify areas where adjustments may be needed to improve the overall outcome. 

Overview of how to implement an earned value management system

A basic framework for EVMS consists of four major components: scope baseline, cost baseline, performance measurement and control (PM&C) plan, and the actual project. The objective of these components is to communicate the parameters that define the scope and cost of the project and the metrics used to monitor its progress throughout the project.

Project Scope Baseline

The project scope baseline defines the deliverables for the project and provides the basis for the schedule and budget. This could include the target completion date, estimated staff hours required to complete the project, and any equipment needed to complete the job. In addition, the cost baseline defines all the resources needed to complete the project and includes labor, materials, and other expenses associated with project execution. 

Cost Baseline

The cost baseline includes the costs to complete each item identified in the project scope. These may include the cost of labor and materials used and the costs of subcontracting specific parts of the project to vendors or other third parties. While the cost baseline is a critical element of the EVMS framework, it can also be one of the most challenging aspects of implementing this system on a project. It requires careful review and approval from all stakeholders to ensure that the estimates accurately reflect the reality of the work involved and do not result in cost overruns due to unrealistic expectations.

Performance Measurement and Control Plan

The performance measurement and control plan specifies the criteria used to measure the project’s performance and how it will be controlled to ensure that it stays within the approved budget and schedule. This plan will typically be developed by project stakeholders at the start of the project and used as the basis for monitoring and controlling the work performed throughout the project. 

Actual Project Execution

This entails the actual performance. In this stage, the project gets underway considering the baselines and controls of earned value management. It is supposed to go smoothly with all the considerations in place. 

Steps in Implementing Earned Value Management

Identify the critical path of the project. 

Project activities are defined as a series of related tasks required to achieve the project’s final objective. For example, building a house is an activity that involves many tasks and activities that must be completed in a specific order to meet the final objective of building a house. Each of these tasks must be performed promptly for the project to be completed on schedule. 

The most critical tasks are typically those that have the greatest impact on the successful completion of the project. These are the tasks that should be started and completed first to avoid project delays. Activity durations are used to measure the amount of time required to complete each task on the project. To track the project’s progress, you should establish a baseline for each activity and update it regularly to reflect changes to the project scope or scope changes. 

A visual display of these progress indicators is typically called a Gantt chart. It provides a visual representation of the project’s critical path and allows managers to easily identify potential problems that may arise during the course of the project. It also provides a visual representation of the overall time required to complete the project. These charts can identify the most likely causes of delays to the project and make the necessary adjustments to stay on schedule and avoid costly delays. 

Evaluate the schedule and conduct a risk assessment for the project

The objective of earned value management (EVM) is to improve a project’s overall efficiency and effectiveness by implementing a project control system that integrates scope, cost, and schedule. The project management team analyzes the schedule and conducts a risk assessment for the project. 

The schedule should be updated frequently to reflect the project’s current status. This allows the project manager to identify potential risks affecting the project’s schedule and budget. They can also adjust the plan to accommodate any issues that may arise.

Define the scope, cost, and schedule baseline for the project. 

Determine how this information will be recorded and tracked throughout the project’s life. The project’s scope should include all the work expected to be completed, such as design, engineering, and construction. The project’s cost includes the resources required to complete the work, such as labor, materials, and equipment. 

The project’s schedule outlines how the work will be completed and provides a benchmark that can be used to measure the performance and quality of the project. Once the project is completed, the team can review the schedule to determine if the project is within budget and schedule. This information can also be used for future projects to ensure successful completion.

Implement the system and monitor progress against the plan. 

Monitor the budget and schedule against planned milestones to ensure that the project stays on track and is completed on time. Gather and analyze data regularly and identify areas that need to be modified or improved to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the project. 

By implementing EVM, the project management team can identify problem areas and implement solutions to improve future efforts. It will also result in a more accurate measurement of progress and a reduction in costs that will maximize the benefit of the project.

Establish a performance baseline for the Earned Value Management System (EVMS).

In any project involving a large group of people, the group must assign responsibilities and define success for the project. This should be done at the beginning of the project to set expectations and motivate the team members to work toward a common goal.

An EVMS should be in place that allows team members to track their progress and evaluate their level of achievement based on the established goals. When this is successfully implemented, all parties involved will better understand whether the project is meeting its goals and, if not, what changes need to be made to meet those goals.

Be able to identify and manage changes to the schedule and budget.

Identify issues early and use information from previous projects to identify areas of improvement that will make future efforts more effective. Continually monitor the project’s performance and make necessary adjustments to ensure that it is completed within the established time frame and budget. This will provide a more accurate measure of progress and reduce costs, maximizing the project team’s benefit.


Earned value management is an important planning tool that safeguards your project. With the constantly evolving project schedules, you’ll need to conduct due diligence and manage your project timelines and objectives. You’ll also want to control your budget due to the gravity of financial issues. With this information on earned value management, you’re well-placed to manage your project and objectives better. The goal is to achieve your project goals seamlessly and with minimum fuss. So, choose earned value management today!

Interesting Related Article: “Effective Management Techniques to Boost Employee’s Performance at Work