Chapter 14. Using Earned Value Management in Software Projects

In This Chapter

  • Defining earned value and other whimsical terms

  • Calculating formulas for earned value management

  • Determining if you are over‐ or underbudget

  • Determining if you are behind or ahead of schedule

  • Pulling it all together

  • Deciding what to do with this information

You never want to lose track of the notion that you must measure your performance throughout the duration of your software project. Even if everything appears to be rosy, the project team is having fun, your stakeholders adore you, and your sponsor is turning cartwheels in the hall, you still need to measure performance so you can quantify whether or not your project is progressing as expected. When you measure a project's performance, you give yourself the opportunity to proactively eliminate molehills before they become mountains by figuring out where the moles are hiding.

Defining Earned Value Management

Earned value management (EVM) is a way of measuring your performance (and the performance of your project team) at any given date or point in the schedule. As your project progresses, you should take the opportunity to analyze costs, the schedule, and other issues (in this chapter we just focus on costs and schedule). You use the EVM measurements to compare your projected progress with your actual progress on a certain date.

You use EVM to answer the question, “What is the value of the work that you and your team have completed as of today or as of some other ...

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