# Understanding Earned Value Fields

Earned value is a project management technique to measure project performance against a project plan. It consists of calculations that build on each other to allow you to see if you are on schedule and within budget. It also helps you predict the work left to be finished and how much your project is expected to cost. This topic will help you better understand how earned value metrics are calculated and how to use them to analyze your schedule's progress.

Earned value fields are either calculated at the activity level or at the resource assignment level and then aggregated to the activity level. Activity-level earned value data also rolls up and is displayed at the WBS and project levels if you have a cost-loaded schedule with an earned value baseline set. Earned value fields can be added to to your Activities page as columns, bars, or values on the Gantt chart. You can also monitor earned value changes over time by capturing the data using Store Period Performance and viewing the data over time in the activity usage histogram.

The full definitions of the fields below can be found in Activities Fields.

**Note**: If there is no earned value baseline set, certain fields might use planned dates instead of baseline data as part of the calculations. However, it is recommended that you set an earned value baseline before starting earned value management, and the content in this topic assumes that an earned value baseline has been set. It is also recommended that you do not change your earned value baseline after you begin your earned value analysis, as this could skew your data.

## Budget at Completion

*Budget at Completion, Budget at Completion Labor Units*

Budget at Completion (BAC) and BAC Labor Units reflect the total planned budget and planned labor units at activity completion. These values are derived from the baseline. BAC is the sum of your Planned Labor Cost, Planned Nonlabor Cost, and Planned Material Cost. BAC Labor Units equals the Baseline Planned Labor Units. This is set when you run the recalculate costs process, and the total costs and units will be pulled from the earned value baseline.

## Percent Complete Fields

*Performance Percent Complete, Schedule Percent Complete*

The next fields calculated in earned value management are the percent complete fields.

The Performance Percent Complete is the percentage of the activity that has been completed for the activity up to the data date. The Performance Percent Complete equals the Activity Percent Complete, which uses the Activity Percent Complete type for the activity to calculate the percentage.

The Schedule Percent Complete field reflects the percentage of the activity that should be completed based on the data date. It is calculated as (Data Date - Baseline Start Date) / (Baseline Finish Date - Baseline Start Date). It is calculated using the updated data date when the project is scheduled.

Compare your Schedule Percent Complete to your Performance Percent Complete to get an idea of how your activity is progressing. For example, if you schedule your project and the activity has a Performance Percent Complete of 25% but a Schedule Percent Complete of 33%, this discrepancy indicates that the percentage of work completed on the activity does not match the work that was supposed to be completed and the activity has fallen behind.

**Note**: Although most earned value fields reflect the aggregated totals when they are rolled up to the project level, Performance Percent Complete and Schedule Percent Complete use different calculations for their summary calculations. The summary Schedule Percent Complete is calculated as summary Planned Value / summary BAC. The summary Performance Percent Complete is calculated as summary Earned Value / summary BAC.

## Base Earned Value Fields

*Planned Value Cost, Planned Value Labor Units, Earned Value Cost, Earned Value Labor Units*

The base earned value fields use the BAC and percent complete fields for their calculations, and are used to complete a variance analysis.

Planned Value, also known as the Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS), is the budgeted cost of work or the portion of budgeted labor units that is scheduled to be completed by a specified date, usually the data date. The Planned Value fields are calculated by multiplying the Schedule Percent Complete with the BAC or BAC Labor Units to get the Planned Value Cost or Planned Value Labor Units, respectively.

Earned Value, also known as the Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP), is the budgeted cost of work or the portion of labor units that has actually been completed by a specified date, usually the data date. The Earned Value fields are calculated by multiplying the Performance Percent Complete with the BAC or BAC Labor Units to get the Earned Value Cost or Earned Value Labor Units, respectively.

## Variance Earned Value Fields

*Schedule Variance, Schedule Variance Labor Units, Schedule Variance Index, Schedule Variance Index Labor Units, Schedule Performance Index, Schedule Performance Index Labor Units, Cost Variance, Cost Variance Labor Units, Cost Variance Index, Cost Variance Index Labor Units, Cost Performance Index, Cost Performance Index Labor Units*

Perform a variance analysis of your project to see how activity progress is matching up to the baseline. There are two types of variance analysis you can do: schedule and cost.

A schedule variance analysis enables you to determine if your activities are on schedule by analyzing the value of the work that has been completed compared to the value of what should have been completed. The Schedule Variance field is calculated by subtracting the Planned Value amount from the Earned Value amount. An amount greater than 0 shows that you are ahead of schedule. Another field, the Schedule Variance Index, is displayed as a percentage. A negative percentage indicates the percentage of work yet to be completed to match the baseline, and a positive percentage indicates the work that has been completed over and above the schedule cost. The Schedule Variance Index is calculated as the Schedule Variance divided by the Planned Value. As part of variance analysis, you will also want to look at the Schedule Performance Index (SPI), also known as the "schedule efficiency," which reflects the relative amount the project is ahead or behind schedule. The SPI is calculated as Earned Value divided by the Planned Value. A value equal to 1 indicates that you are on schedule, a value greater than 1 indicates that you are ahead of schedule, and a value less than 1 indicates that you are behind schedule.

A schedule variance analysis can also be done with labor units. These fields (Schedule Variance Labor Units, Schedule Variance Index Labor Units, and SPI Labor Units) compare the utilized labor units with the amount that was supposed to be used based on the baseline.

A cost variance analysis allows you to assess cost performance—are you over or under budget, or right on track? The Cost Variance field (Earned Value - Actual Total Cost) calculates the difference between the amount budgeted for the work performed and the amount actually spent for the work performed. A negative value indicates that the money spent so far has exceeded the value of the work performed. The Cost Variance is divided by Earned Value to calculate the Cost Variance Index, which is also displayed as a percentage. A positive variance percentage indicates the amount that you are under budget, and a negative variance percentage indicates how over budget you are. The Cost Performance Index (CPI), which is Earned Value divided by Actual Total Cost, enables you to determine the project's cost efficiency and to forecast the cost performance for the remainder of the work. A value equal to 1 means your budget is right on track, a value less than 1 indicates that you are spending more than planned, and a value greater than 1 indicates you spent less than planned.

A cost variance analysis can also be done with labor units by comparing the utilized labor units with the amount that was supposed to be used as per the baseline. These fields include Cost Variance Labor Units, Cost Variance Index Labor Units, and CPI Labor Units.

## Estimate Earned Value Fields

*Estimate to Complete, Estimate to Complete Labor Units, Estimate to Complete Performance Index, Estimate at Completion, Estimate at Completion Labor Units, Variance at Completion, Variance at Completion Labor Units*

The Estimate Earned Value fields provide you with the capability to analyze the predicted costs and labor units based on your activity progress so far.

The Estimate to Complete (ETC) and ETC Labor Units tell you the cost and labor units that are needed to complete the activity. The ETC fields are used to calculate the Estimate at Completion fields. Estimate at Completion (EAC) and EAC Labor Units are the predicted total cost and labor units to complete the activity. The EAC equals the sum of the Actual Total Cost and the ETC, and the EAC Labor Units equals the sum of the Actual Labor Units and the ETC Labor Units.

You can use the ETC Performance Index, which is calculated as (BAC - Earned Value) / (EAC - Actual Cost), to monitor the efficiency needed to complete the outstanding work within the budget set by your baseline. A value greater than 1 indicates that the work is over budget and more effort will be required to reduce costs or increase earned value. A value less than 1 indicates the work is under budget and that the current effort is sufficient enough to meet the BAC.

Complete a final variance analysis using the the Variance at Completion (BAC - EAC) and Variance at Completion Labor Units (BAC Labor Units - EAC Labor Units) fields to see if the EAC amounts are on track with the baseline total cost and labor units. A value greater than 1 indicates that you may go over budget or utilize more labor units that planned. A well-planned project will have an equal EAC and BAC and an equal EAC Labor Units and BAC Labor Units.

## Calculations Cheat Sheet

Use the calculations cheat sheet to keep track of earned value calculations. All of the fields mentioned in this topic are included in the table below.

Field Name | Calculation |
---|---|

Budget at Completion (BAC) | Planned Labor Cost + Planned Nonlabor Cost + Planned Material Cost |

Budget at Completion (BAC) Labor Units | This field equals the Baseline Planned Labor Units |

Performance Percent Complete | This field equals the Activity Percent Complete |

Performance Percent Complete (summary) | summary Earned Value / summary Budget at Completion |

Schedule Percent Complete | (Data Date - Baseline Start Date) / (Baseline Finish Date - Baseline Start Date) |

Schedule Percent Complete (summary) | summary Planned Value / summary Budget at Completion |

Planned Value Cost | Schedule Percent Complete * Budget at Completion |

Planned Value Labor Units | Schedule Percent Complete * Budget at Completion Labor Units |

Earned Value | Performance Percent Complete * Budget at Completion |

Earned Value Labor Units | Performance Percent Complete * Budget at Completion Labor Units |

Schedule Variance | Earned Value - Planned Value |

Schedule Variance Labor Units | Earned Value Labor Units - Planned Value Labor Units |

Schedule Variance Index | Schedule Variance / Planned Value |

Schedule Variance Index Labor Units | Schedule Variance Labor Units / Planned Value Labor Units |

Schedule Performance Index (SPI) | Earned Value / Planned Value |

Schedule Performance Index (SPI) Labor Units | Earned Value Labor Units / Planned Value Labor Units |

Cost Variance | Earned Value - Actual Total Cost |

Cost Variance Labor Units | Earned Value Labor Units - Actual Labor Units |

Cost Variance Index | Cost Variance / Earned Value |

Cost Variance Index Labor Units | Cost Variance Labor Units / Earned Value Labor Units |

Cost Performance Index (CPI) | Earned Value / Actual Total Cost |

Cost Performance Index (CPI) Labor Units | Earned Value Labor Units / Actual Labor Units |

Estimate to Complete (ETC) | This field equals the Remaining Total Cost |

Estimate to Complete (ETC) Labor Units | This field equals the Remaining Labor Units |

Estimate to Complete (ETC) Performance Index | (Budget at Completion - Earned Value) / (Estimate at Completion - Actual Cost) |

Estimate at Completion (EAC) | Actual Total Cost + Estimate to Complete |

Estimate at Completion (EAC) Labor Units | Actual Labor Units + Estimate to Complete Labor Units |

Variance at Completion | Budget at Completion - Estimate at Completion |

Last Published Monday, June 24, 2024