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04 February 2015

Understanding Earned Value Management: Part 5 – Earned Value in the Bigger Picture

David A. Zimmer
David A. Zimmer, PMP
Chief Project Professor
American Eagle Group
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Understanding Earned Value Management:
Part 5 – Earned Value in the Bigger Picture


PMBOK® Guide Definition:


Earned Value Management (EVM): A methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

Work Package: The work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed.

Practical Definition:


Earned Value Management (EVM): A set of mathematical formulas for determining current project performance and progress and used to forecast anticipated results; strikes the greatest fear in PMP® aspirants seeking certification.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):  A deliverable-oriented, hierarchical decomposition of the project. Deliverables create the results of the project so the project objectives are met.


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