Evaluation of projects using critical path analysis and earned value in combination

Although practitioners and researchers have proven that the critical path method (CPM) is an effective approach for analyzing and controlling project schedules, this approach has often generated less than desirable results, causing project managers to under- or over-use their project resources. This article describes a dual-method approach to evaluating projects, one that uses both CPM and earned value (EV). It examines the use of logical network plans as scheduling tools and CPM as a project control tool. It also discusses the methods that project professionals can use to measure the amount of project work accomplished (or EV), methods that include schedule variance, cost variance, actual cost, and planned value. It then explains how project managers can use CPM Float and schedule performance index (SPI) to analyze four project conditions; it analyzes these same four project conditions again by using Float, SPI, and cost performance index (CPI). It concludes by describing the limits of using these methods.
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