There are always several paths the questions can wander down in our Office Hours sessions.

We can talk about software questions:

  • How do I attach a document to the task?
  • How do I run a report to show me my actual hours for this Time Code?
  • Why does Project Insight give me this weird error message? (I'm sure this question never happens)

But sometimes, we answer "people questions" that seem like HR questions (but they are disguised as software questions):

  • How can I get my team to enter their time each week?
  • If my team members don't want to update percent complete, what's the easiest way to show them update a percent complete?
  • Help me make it easier for management to run Project Insight reports for themselves instead of asking me each week!

Or sometimes, we talk about Project Management concept questions (like today's question):

Earned Value and Planned Value is Project Management concept. We didn't make these rules. We just play by them. The concepts of Earned Value and Planned Value are all based on money. They are calculated by Work Hours multiplied by either yesterday's date or the percent complete. And remember they demonstrate a project's money, money, money...

  • Earned Value (or EV) uses the Percent Complete of the task or project and multiplies it by Work Cost information (think Work Hours and Work Expenses) to tell you how much you are mathematically spending at this point in the completion.
  • Earned Value Billable (or EV Billable) is the same calculations as Earned Value, but it uses Work Billable information (Work Billable Hours and Work Billable Expenses).
  • This means how much work have you completed according to your percent complete. According to our calculations, you have this much work done (in $$$).
  • Planned Value (or PV) uses how much work should have elapsed due to the date of the task or project and multiplies it by Work Cost information (think Work Hours and Work Expenses) to tell you how much you should be spending at this point in the completion.
  • Planned Value Billable (or PV Billable) is the same calculations as Planned Value, but it uses Work Billable information (Work Billable Hours and Work Billable Expenses).
  • This means how much work should I have completed by now? According to our calculations, you should have this much work done (in $$$).

It is really important that we stress that these are "performance to schedule" measurements. EV/PV have never, ever, ever had ANYTHING to do with Time Entry or Actual Time/Expense, so don't worry if your team is not going to be entering time into PI.

Because these are PMI measurements, we don't make the news, we just report it. If you don't like how Planned Value and Earned Value work, then you'll need to check out the PMBOK - we're following the rules.


Why would you care?

  • The obvious answer is if you have planned to earn more than you are currently earning: You are behind in your work and it is going to cost you
  • But what if you've earned more than you planned, does that mean you're more profitable? Um... sometimes... but it could also mean that your plan was way off and now you are using resources that could have better been served someplace else.

Where can I see Earned Value and Planned Value?

  • When you are a Project Manager for a project, the bottom of the Project Status screen displays tabs for important project information. The tab called "Performance" breaks down PV and EV.

  • You can also add these columns to project and task reports by visiting the Work choices within the columns (i.e. Work Planned Value, Work Earned Value, Work Billable Planned Value, Work Billable Earned Value)

This is a technical subject and that's always dangerous when I attempt to approach technical subjects. Please let me know how I did in the comments below! Always looking for company on these blog posts.

Online 6/5/2015
Updated on: