Earned Value Standards and Specifications

The earned value system has been around since the late 1960s in its formal state, but the idea of "getting your money's worth" is a concept as old as barter. A brief but informative history of the earned value system is provided by Quentin Fleming and Joel Koppelman in their book, Earned Value Project Management, Second Edition. t5] Earned value as it is known today originated around 1962 in the Department of Defense, originally as an extension of the scheduling methodology of the era, PERT, t6] but became its own methodology in 1967 with the introduction of the Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria [71 (C/SCSC for short, and pronounced "c-speck") into the Defense Department's instructions (DoDI) about systems acquisition. t8] The Defense Department C/SCSC has evolved over time to the present ANSI/EIA 748 standard. t9] Along the way, some of the acronyms changed and a few criteria were combined and streamlined, but nothing has changed in terms of the fundamentals of earning value for the prescribed cost and schedule.

In the original C/SCSC, the requirements for measuring and reporting value were divided into 35 criteria grouped into five categories. [10] The ANSI/EIA 748 has fewer criteria, only 32, but also the same five categories, albeit with slight name changes. The five categories are explained in Table 6-2. Quentin and Koppleman provide detail on all of the criteria from both standards for the interested reader.

Table 6-2: Earned Value Management Categories


General Content and Description

Number of Criteria in Category


Define the WBS, the program organizational structure, and show integration with the host organization for cost and schedule control.


Planning, scheduling, and budgeting

Identify the work products, schedule the work according to work packages, and apply a time-phased budget to the work packages and project. Identify and control direct costs, overhead, and time and material items.


Accounting considerations

Record all direct and indirect costs according to the WBS and the chart of accounts; provide data necessary to support earned value reporting and management.


Analysis and management reports

Provide analysis and reports appropriate to the project and the timelines specific to the project.


Revisions and data maintenance

Identify and manage changes, updating appropriate scope, schedule, and budgets after changes are approved.


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Project Management Made Easy

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.

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