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 particular date?"
When you perform EV analysis on your project, you assign a number to the progress of your cost and your schedule. As you put value into your project, you should be getting value back from your project. Analyzing your earned value enables you to determine the difference (if any) between how much value you planned to add to your project and how much value you are actually adding to your project.
During the communication planning phase of your project, you should create plans that define how your performance measurements are reported and how often you need to create and distribute that information. For a project lasting several years, you may have designated in your communication plan that you will prepare quarterly performance measurement reports. For a project lasting less than a year, it makes more sense to distribute this information monthly.
Using EVM, you put these plans into action by reporting the status of your project as of a particular point in time. Always communicate your progress to appropriate stakeholders. You don't necessarily have to report findings to all stakeholders.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.