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the federal acquisition process

Project Management presents many tools and techniques for the management of the successful project. One of the most regarded of these tools would be Earned Value Analysis. Unfortunately, it seems as if this phrase or title, “Earned Value Management” is met and greeted with dread instead of the thought of usefulness.

Maybe the less than full embrace can be attributed to following scenario. The project scenario is you, the project manager, have a client that contracted with your firm to produce 5 Gizmos. You created a plan to produce the five Gizmos during this year. In fact the plan calls for 100 hours to be spent for each assembled Gizmo. The year has come and gone and the five Gizmos were produced. At year end you check with the finance department to inquire about the total number of hours spent to produce the five Gizmos. Finance informs you that 400 total hours were expended to create the five Gizmos. At first blush, you, the project manager, are filled with a sense of accomplishment, in fact dazzling accomplishment as you finished the planned five-hundred hour production of Gizmos in 400 hundred hours, saving the company 100 hours that may be applied to other projects in need. Then, a sense of less-than-great feeling is recognized from deep within, why? What’s wrong with this picture?

Maybe it is the fear of the unknown that gives Earned Value a less than stellar review by many in the field. Information, which is power, can help hold project fear at bay. Therefore, this paper sets out with the fundamental expectation of providing the reader with basic information about Earned Value that will allow the reader to embrace the positive of EVMS without cringing in fear