EVMS: What it is and is not

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What EVMS is?
Earned Value is an approach with defined methods that captures and reports project cost, and schedule data that tells if the project plan, actual work, and work-completed value is on target or not. EV shows how much of the budget and time the program or project should have,  and has spent versus the amount of work done thus far.

EVMS can also be defined as an integrated management control system for assessing, understanding, quantifying and communicating how the project team is performing and what they’re achieving in the endeavor.  EVM provides executive and project management with objective, accurate and timely data for effective, proactive decision making.

What EVMS is not.
1. An earned value management system is not a set of software tools.  Software tools do not make for an earned value management system.  Software tools such as scheduling, cost engines, risk mitigation, and so on only aid in the capturing, handling, analyzing and reporting of program or project data.

2. EVM is not a financial or accounting system. EVM is a program or project management and reporting technique.  Although organizations capture and report detailed financial budgeting and costs, the  information is reported in currency, but EVM is not a financial or accounting system.

3. EVM is not just for Government contracts. Although the federal governments in several countries require the use of EVM on government contracts, EVM is used by commercial companies to manage projects.  Because there isn’t a government compliance requirement, commercial companies do not need to implement or apply an overly robust earned value system.   Use of EVM metrics have a broad applications therefore, companies are using EVM as a means of managing work more effectively, planning resource allocations, the timing of when to purchase raw materials, and ultimately – earnings.