Want the value of EVMS without all the rigor? Consider Earned Value Lite

By: Rose Echols, Senior Project Controls Specialist

Many project managers may shy away from using a traditional Earned Value Management System (EVMS) because of the complexity, rigor and additional cost of maintaining it. There is, however, another way to get the benefits of using Earned Value (EV) without all the rigors, it’s Earned Value Lite.

What is Earned Value?  Project management revolves around the three basic project characteristics: scope, schedule and budget. EVM provides the metrics for comparing what has been planned with what has been completed within these three parameters.

What is Earned Value Lite? If you’re working on a project that doesn’t require that you comply with formal government guidelines, EV Lite may be the perfect solution to keep your project on track.

What’s the difference between the traditional EVM and EV Lite?

EV Lite differs from traditional EVM in the following ways:

  • The level of detail is not as stringent and there are fewer control accounts;
  • Less rigor in approvals for Work Authorization Documents (WAD) and Change Orders (CO);
  • Less rigor in the variance analysis process, including looser variance thresholds;
  • Less rigor with compliance with American National Standards Institute, EIA-748 Guidelines;
  • and Earned Value Lite does not require third party verification or audit.

Why use Earned Value Lite?

  • More simplistic approach
  • Less cost to implement
  • Still provides valuable metrics
  • Just the right amount of Project Management
  • Easier to standardize Earning Rules

When to use Earned Value Lite?

  • Projects that don’t require that you comply with formal government guidelines.
  • Smaller projects (in duration and/or budget)
  • Portfolio of projects that are similar in nature and can be standardized.
  • IT projects
  • R&D projects
  • Commercial Projects