# How status dates calculate Earned value and SPI

• ### Question

• Hello,

I am not sure how I can fix this. I have multiple long term tasks in my project schedule. I have realized that the status date is crucial when calculating Earned Value. I was noticing very odd EV numbers and realized that is was calculating against the status date that was before the end of the tasks end date. So I wasn't getting, what I thought, as a true EV number. I was 8 days into a 15 day task at a completion rate of 90%. It was doing 90% of the value of 8 days. I obviously can just move the status date out past the tasks end date and get the number I think it should be. Although, it negatively affects my SPI and looks like I'm behind schedule when plotted on a graph.

Question: Even though the EV doesn't look correct(which it technically is based on my input), on a graph it will look correct because the baseline is being measured on the same numbers. Is this a correct understanding?

Monday, October 7, 2013 2:55 PM

### All replies

• Hi Matt --

The status date is very important for MS Project to accurately calculate earned value. It is the date that you captured the most up-to-date status information for the project. If today is Monday, October 7th, and you are entering the progress information that you gathered on Friday, October 4th, then you should enter a project status date of October 4th.

If on Friday you gathered from your team that the progress -- as of Friday -- was 90% on an individual task, then that is what you enter against that task and MS Project will use that value to calculate the earned value for that task.

The project status date should not be in the future.

Good luck!

-- tz

Tony Zink | Vice President, EPMA | http://www.epmainc.com | Blog: http://www.epmablog.com | Training: http://www.epmainstitute.com

Monday, October 7, 2013 4:59 PM
• Tony,

I understand that the status date should not be in the future. I was just thrown off by the EV number being just available work through the status date. This is my example:

After the 7th day(Oct 7th) we are 90% complete.

I expected the EV to be 108, but project had 56.

I know what 56 is, but why does it not calculate the EV for the full task? Also, when plotted as a graph the information is still a accurate picture of the project?

Monday, October 7, 2013 5:31 PM
• Hi Tony,

You should use the physical % complete field and enter 90% in this field in stead of the % complete field. Then in the "Earned value method" column, set it to physical % complete and you will get 108 instead of 56.

George

Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:54 AM
• Matt502, here is your example. You cannot just input 90% complete at the end of the 7th day of a 15 day task.

Since % complete is actual duration/total duration, that would be interpreted as 13.5 days actual duration and 1.5 days remaining duration, but a task which only started 7 days ago cannot have 13.5 days of actual duration.

If the task actually started as scheduled, and was continuously in progress up to the status date, then it had an actual duration of 7 days, which is 47% complete.

If you then decided to re-estimate the remaining duration so that it is 90% complete, then the RD must be 0.8 days.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:10 PM