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software development lifecycle methodologies

What is Earned Value Analysis?

Earned Value Analysis (EVA) is a method that allows the project manager to measure the amount of work actually performed on a project beyond the basic review of cost and schedule reports. EVA provides a method that permits the project to be measured by progress achieved. The project manager is then able, using the progress measured, to forecast a project’s total cost and date of completion, based on trend analysis or application of the project’s “burn rate”. This method relies on a key measure known as the project’s earned value.

Oftentimes the term “earned value” is defined as the “budgeted cost of worked performed” or BCWP. This budgeted cost of work performed measure enables the project manager to compute performance indices or burn rates for cost and schedule performance, which provides information on how well the project is doing or performing relative to its original plans. These indices, when applied to future work, allow for to project manager to forecast how the project will do in the future, assuming the burn rates will not fluctuate, which oftentimes is a large assumption.