Earned value, or EV, is a common metric that's used within the discipline of project management. The concept of earned value is relatively straightforward. Earned value is simply calculated by multiplying the completion percentage of a task by that task's planned value. Thus, the planned value of tasks is a necessary input in order to calculate the earned value. To learn how to calculate Planned Value, please refer to the Projecting planned value recipe in Chapter 8, Processing Project Performance. The earned value metric is often used as an early warning indicator that a project may be in danger of running over budget or past its expected end date.
This recipe demonstrates how to calculate the earned value for individual tasks as well as how to display the cumulative earned value of a project over time.