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Some common PM terms and their definitions


Earned Value Management

Detailed Definition

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Earned Value

A method which measures project performance by comparing work completed against work planned (at a given date in the project schedule).


Earned value is an established management technique which relates resource planning to schedules, and to technical cost and schedule requirements. It is sometimes required to be used in commercial and government projects. EVM allows a better understanding of project progress than simply looking at tasks accomplished.

Under EVM, work is planned, budgeted, and scheduled in time-phased ''planned value'' increments, constituting a cost and a schedule measurement baseline.

There are two major objectives of an earned value system:

  • Encourage contractors (and others) in the use of effective internal cost and schedule management control systems;
  • Permit the customer(s) to be able to rely on timely data as produced by those systems for determining product-oriented contract status


EVM allows a better chance to catch schedule and progress variances. The benefits for project managers of the earned value approach come from:

  • disciplined planning conducted via established methods
  • availability of metrics which show real variances from plan in order to generate necessary corrective actions.

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