Designing project management

a scientific notation and an improved formalism for earned value calculations

When estimating the remaining cost and time for an in-progress project, many project managers often measure the completed work and compare it to the work scheduled and measure the current cost and analyze it against planned spending. But a more comprehensive view of project performance requires knowing a project’s progress in relation to the triple constraints--time, cost, and scope. This paper explains a calculational notation for measuring project progress, a scientific method which the author developed for his students (Project Management Program, The George Washington University), a method that seeks to evolve the terminology and notation used for earned valued analysis (EVA). In doing so, it discusses EVA, identifying its three elements and benefits, defining its function, and describing its standard notation. It then details what the author describes is a more modern symbolic notation for calculating earned value, one that lists objectives and defines goals. It also outlines a scientific-based notation that combines earned value’s triplet parameters to show EVA’s standard quantities. It demonstrates how the combined aspects comprising a cost-schedule performance factor describe not only a project’s history but also predict its future.
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