# Earned value doesn't match AC or % complete for and unfinished task that is on budget

• ### Question

• As the title says, when the status date is say 2 days after a task starts and has work reported, the earned value is much less than the actual cost even though they should match.

I'm also having trouble with some tasks' EV not matching the PV after completion?

Does anyone know how project calculates EV and how it can be manipulated?

Monday, September 30, 2013 2:35 PM

### All replies

• Is the actual work reported as it was scheduled?  Do you have the cost accrual for your resources set to something other than prorated?  What version of Project and what service pack, please.

Are you looking at earned value on a task level or an assignment level?

Monday, September 30, 2013 3:32 PM
• MS Project 2010 Professional

The Task is an oil containment pit for a transformer, I have the various activities applied as material resources as it is a unit rate contract. I'm looking at the earned value on a task level. I am applying the work to the task usage table as it happens.

For example there are 850 units (m^3) required for excavation at \$32.10/m^3 on day one they perform 132 units, the AC is \$4237.20 but the EV is only showing \$652.81

I should also add that when looking at the task usage table the EV for the resource matches the AC, but it isn't rolling up to the task itself.
Monday, September 30, 2013 3:50 PM
• The BCWP is the baseline cost (for the task)* % complete.  It is entirely possible to show a BCWP less than the ACWP.

For example:

10 day duration task.  A material resource is assigned with a rate of \$1 per unit at 1 unit per day.  The baseline cost for the task is \$10.00. On day one I record 1.5 units of actual work.  Because the work is being performed more quickly than originally planned, the task duration is recalculated to 9.50 days and I am 10.526% complete (Project rounds that to 11%).  My ACWP is 1.50, my BCWS is 1 and my BCWP is 1.05 (10*.10526).

On day 2 I record another unit of actual work. My percent % is now 21% ACWP is \$2.50, BCWS is \$2.00 and my BCWP is \$2.11.

At the end of day 3 I record.5 unit of actual work.  The task duration increases back to 10 days.  I am now 30% complete (3 out of 10 days complete).  ACWP is \$3, BCWS is 3 and BCWP is 3.

So, what is your percent complete at Baseline cost?

Monday, September 30, 2013 5:40 PM
• I hope the table comes through below, but the value doesn't appear to match the percent complete.

 Task Name Planned Value - PV (BCWS) Earned Value - EV (BCWP) AC (ACWP) % Work Complete Oil Containment Install \$276,468.90 \$652.81 \$4,237.20 1% 40-20mm washed gravel \$14,372.40 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% 80-40mm washed gravel \$50,303.40 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% 200mm dual wall HDPE \$100.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% Concrete and Rebar \$128,564.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% Containment Backfill \$12,765.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% Containment Excavation \$27,285.00 \$4,237.20 \$4,237.20 16% Geospan compressible fill \$7,004.10 \$0.00 \$0.00 0% Styrofoam HI-40 \$36,075.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 0%
Monday, September 30, 2013 6:58 PM
• Anna,

Not percent work complete - but percent complete - which is a duration measure, not a work measure.

Monday, September 30, 2013 9:22 PM
• Sorry, the two values were the same for the task. Why is the Earned Value calculated by duration? It should be a measure of the value of the work completed.

 Task Name Planned Value - PV (BCWS) Earned Value - EV (BCWP) AC (ACWP) % Complete Oil Containment Install \$276,468.90 \$658.25 \$4,237.20 1% 40-20mm washed gravel \$14,372.40 \$0.00 \$0.00 80-40mm washed gravel \$50,303.40 \$0.00 \$0.00 200mm dual wall HDPE \$100.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 Concrete and Rebar \$128,564.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 Containment Backfill \$12,765.00 \$0.00 \$0.00 Containment Excavation \$27,285.00 \$4,237.16 \$4,237.20 Geospan compressible fill \$7,004.10 \$0.00 \$0.00 Styrofoam HI-40 \$36,075.00 \$0.00 \$0.00
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 2:03 PM
• I created a new project in Project 2010 SP2 (update to SP2 if you haven't already), added 1 task and 1 material resource.

Baselined and progressed on track. The earned value equals the actual cost.

What we can't see is what baseline cost there is per day, what dates the actual cost is accrued to and the date of update, or the status date. For example, if actual cost is entered on a future date, EV is \$0.

Can you show the timescaled data for the Baseline and actual costs?

Rod Gill

Rod Gill Project Management

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 8:15 PM
• The calculation in Project is based upon % complete, which is a duration measurement, not a work measurement.

Earned value (BCWP) may not equal ACWP if the progress is not as planned.  So, as Rod suggested, can you show us baseline cost in the timephased portion of the view?  Is this perhaps a project plan that can be shared?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 9:26 PM
• It's a bit unrealistic to expect the EVM parameters to always match (i.e. an ideal project).  In real projects, these parameters will quite often not match.

You may be missing the point of Earned Value Management (EVM). In EVM, it is the differences between the Earned Value parameters which is interesting. The differences point out areas that require our attention. Monitoring these differences is the reason that EVM exists!

If EV is less than AC, you have a Cost Variance--and that is interesting.

If--after completion, EV doesn't match PV, you have a Schedule Variance--and that is interesting.

When the EVM parameters match, things are on-schedule and on-budget--and no attention is required.  Thus it is a good--but also non-interesting--situation.

• Edited by Thursday, October 3, 2013 11:21 PM Remove signature
Thursday, October 3, 2013 11:20 PM
• First, verify that your Options are set correctly for you. Options>Advanced>Earned Value Options, ﻿﻿﻿﻿Schedule>Scheduling Options for this project and Schedule>Calculation Options for this Project.

Verify that you are completing the physical % complete field. The Actual Cost of work performed has nothing to do with the Budgetted Cost of Work Performed. If you spent 132 units excavating the wrong location, then your EV is 0.

I also noticed the bug in the EV fields where some of the values do not roll up to the summary tasks.

To help you determine where you are having the problem, in the Task Usage View, right mouse click any of the fields under the Details column, then select Detail Styles. Add (show) ACWP, BCWP, BCWS and Baseline fields﻿ to paste in the values from the built in fields (baseline 1 budget work, ﻿﻿﻿Baseline 1 work, Baseline 1 Cost). You may be surprised how your BCWS is spread.

Dean Carroll

Friday, October 4, 2013 5:53 PM
• Dean,

I'm not sure Anna is attempting to use physical % complete.

Friday, October 4, 2013 10:07 PM
• Thanks for all of the responses, Julie is correct, I'm not trying to use physical percent complete. I'm using a work computer, the software is controlled by our IT company so I have no way of installing a dif service pack without going through various levels of management, and I'm not entirely sure which one I currently have. For the purpose of my argument I set the status date to post planned completion of the task to show the baseline cost for the task, and to show that my EV (BCWP) doesn't seemed to be tied to the percent complete. I understand that there should be variances in EV, AC and PV if there are variances in schedule and or cost of performing the work. But for the purposes of this project, this task is being paid at a unit rate for the work performed, so if they excavate 132 cubic meters in the wrong spot there is no EV and no AC since we will not be paying for work that is improperly performed. My understanding of BCWP is that it is the budgeted cost of the work performed as in if we plan to spend \$1000 to do some portion of work, and that work is completed, then the BCWP should be \$1000 whether it was performed a week early or a week late and whether it cost \$1 or \$1,000,000. And it's the differences between all 3 curves that tell you where the project is in terms of schedule and budget. So in my case, this task actually started about a month early, so on the first day when they excavate 132 cu. m the PV is 0, since the work was performed according to plan the actual cost should equal the planned cost for the amount of work performed. There is no additional cost or rebate associated with performing the work early. I thought that at completion of a project the EV should equal PV with the exception of an early finish, where the EV may exceed PV.
Monday, October 7, 2013 7:46 PM
• If you display BCWS and BCWP in the task usage view, with the bottom tier of the calendar set to weeks or days, the time-phased values of BCWS and BCWP will be visible to you. You should be able to identify when you are not getting the credit for BCWP.

Dean Carroll

Monday, October 7, 2013 8:08 PM
• Anna,

You can better understand the EVM parameters by exposing all the relevant parameters and doing some experimentation.  See example below.

• Edited by Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:22 PM Remove Signature
Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:12 PM