Topic Teasers Vol. 51: Why Bother With Earned Value?

Question: Computing Earned Value (EV) has always been challenging for me, and frankly I don’t see the benefit to my project. I learned to do the math for my PMP certification, but is there a clear and simple way to get the figures, make the calculations and then find a meaningful use for those numbers? My projects keep veering off track and I need a new approach.

A. Depending on their personality type, some managers are sticklers for details. The more metrics, the better. EVM translates project data into numbers to forward to management, but has less value for the project manager who is running the project day to day.

B. While PMP prep does a great job of explaining the math of Earned Value Management (EVM), keeping the focus on information needed to pass the test means there is seldom time to go into the subject of how useful EVM can be in the workplace. It is a key tool for running successful projects.

C. Since the U.S. Department of Defense requires EVM for all of its departments and departmental contractors, there are favorable tax advantages for corporations who can state their profit figures in EVM terms.

D. EVM provides a common language that the project manager, team and management can use to communicate about how much time and how many resources should be allocated at the first of a project in order to ensure that it will be guaranteed to meet the estimated project metrics of time, cost and quality.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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