Earned Value Management

Schedule Variances

Schedule Variance (SV) indicates how much a project is ahead or behind schedule. It measures whether a project is on track by calculating actual progress against expected progress. SV is used by the Program Manager (PM) and program personnel to determine how best to utilize their remaining resources.

Definition: Schedule variance is the difference between the actual time it has taken to get to a point on a project vs the planned time to get to that point on a project.

Benefits of Schedule Variance (SV)

The key takeaway from Schedule Variance for a project manager is that they can understand if their program schedule is ahead, behind, or online and by how much. An example would be they can communicate that they are 10% ahead of schedule. This gives them a data point that allows them to better appropriate resources to fix schedule problems.

Schedule Variance (SV) Results

The Schedule Variance Outcomes in Earned Value Management (EVM) are:

  • Positive: Ahead of Schedule
  • Negative: Behind Schedule.
  • Zero: On Schedule.

EVMS Gold Card: DAU EVM Gold Card 2020

Schedule Variance (SV) Definitions:

4 Schedule Variance (SV) Methods

The four (4) different SV methods.

  1. Schedule Variance (SV)
  2. Schedule Variance %
  3. Schedule Performance Indicator (SPI)
  4. To Complete Schedule Performance Indicator (TSPI)

1. Schedule Variance (SV)

Schedule Variance indicates how much ahead or behind schedule the project is. Schedule Variance can be calculated using the following formula:

  • Schedule Variance (SV) = Earned Value (EV) – Planned Value (PV)
  • Schedule Variance (SV) = BCWP – BCWS

The formula mentioned above gives the variance in terms of cost which will indicate how much cost of the work is yet to be completed as per schedule or how much cost of work has been completed over and above the scheduled cost.

  • Positive Schedule Variance: Indicates we are ahead of schedule
  • Negative Schedule Variance: Indicates we are behind schedule

2. Schedule Variance %

Schedule Variance % indicates how much ahead or behind schedule, the project is in terms of percentage. Schedule Variance % can be calculated using the following formula:

  • SV % = Schedule Variance (SV) / Planned Value (PV)
  • SV % = SV / BCWS

The formula mentioned above gives the variance in terms of percentage which will indicate how much percentage of work is yet to be completed as per schedule or how much percentage of work has been completed over and above the scheduled cost.

  • Positive Variance %: indicates % ahead of schedule
  • Negative Variance %: indicates % behind of schedule

3. Schedule Performance Indicator (SPI)

Schedule Performance Indicator is an index showing the efficiency of the time utilized on the project. Schedule Performance Indicator can be calculated using the following formula:

  • SPI = Earned Value (EV) / Planned Value (PV)
  • SPI = BCWP / BCWS

The formula mentioned above gives the efficiency of the project team in utilizing the time allocated for the project.

  • SPI value greater than (≥) 1: indicates the project team is very efficient in utilizing the time allocated to the project
  • SPI value less than (≤) 1: indicates the project team is less efficient in utilizing the time allocated to the project

4. To Complete Schedule Performance Indicator (TSPI)

CPI is an index showing the efficiency at which the remaining time on the project should be utilized. This can be calculated using the following formula:

  • TSPI = ( Total Budget – EV ) / ( Total Budget – PV )
  • TSPI = ( Total Budget – BCWP ) / ( Total Budget – BCWS )

The formula mentioned above gives the efficiency at which the project team should utilize the remaining time allocated for the project.

  • TSPI value greater than (≥) 1: indicates the project team can be lenient in utilizing the remaining time allocated to the project.
  • TSPI value less than (≤) 1: indicates the project team needs to work harder in utilizing the remaining time allocated to the project.

Schedule Variance (CV) Example

An example of an SV is if it took a project four months to reach the mid-pointy but the scheduled amount of time was three months. The project had a schedule variance of one month. This is an unfavorable SV because the actual schedule is more than the planned schedule.

EVM Definitions

– BCWP = Budgeted Cost of Work Performed
– ACWP = Actual Cost of Work Performed
– AC = Actual Cost

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/2/2021

Rank: G4

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