Calculating Earned Value in Microsoft Project

In this example I tried to show how to calculate earned value using MS-Project. Expecting the reader has sufficient knowledge on Earned Value Analysis and familiar with Microsoft project 2003.

Let’s take the example that I used in my other writing “Earned Value Analysis”, i.e. rolling out data network in remote office. A $30,000 project targeted to finish by eight weeks.

Well to get earned value metrics form your ms project work you need to do following tasks in sequential order

  • Have the resources name and their cost.
  • Assign resources to the tasks.
  • Save the baseline.
  • Work on the project and enter actual schedule and actual completion of the work
  • Check the EVA metric from the earned value view or reports

For this example, I put following example data in my Gantt Chart, entry view

Gantt Chart Entry View

Next, enter the resource information in resource sheet. To get resource sheet, select view menu – resource sheet. There are two types of resources in MS project, i.e. work and material. Work resources are human and materials that consumes time to get a task down. Whereas materials are consumable supplies, i.e. data cable, router, switch.

Resource Sheet

Now I have my primary data ready. I know the tasks and timeline at the same time I have the arms, ammunitions and mercenaries ready to accomplished the tasks. Next assign tasks to the resources.

To do that, click on the icon Assign Resources from standard toolbar.

Assign Task

After assigning the resources if you want to see the overall project costing or cost per task, do following

  • Split the window by selecting windows menu à split
  • Go back to Gantt Chart  – > entry view using view menu i.e. Select view -> Gantt Chart, again Select view -> Table -> Entry.
  • Select view -> Task Usage In lower window

Split View

You can take different combination of views for both windows to get clear idea about the data in your project.

As the base information is ready, the next step is to baseline the project plan. Saving the project baseline is an important step because later on you will be referring to this baseline with your actual cost and schedule to measure and manage your project.

To save the project baseline, follow these steps:

  • Select Tools – Tracking – Save Baseline
  • In the appeared Dialog box, select the Save Baseline radio button
  • Select the Entire Project radio button.

Save Base Line

Now go back to Gantt chart entry view and make some changes in the schedule of work progress as like entering the actual data. In real word team started working on the project, start updating the project with actual data.

Now time to compare the actual data with baseline and get the earned value metrics.  Both earned value view and reports are available for that.

To get earned value view, select view – Table – More table.  Select Earned Value from more table dialog box

Earned Table View

And you get your all earned value metrics.

Earned Value Metrics

Earned Value
Field Name


BCWS Budgeted cost   of work scheduled or Planned Value
BCWP Budgeted cost   of work produced or Earned Value
ACWP Actual Cost of Work Produced or Actual Cost
SV Schedule Variance
CV Cost Variance
EAC Estimate at Complete
BAC Budget at Complete
VAC Variance at Complete

That’s all folks…………


About Mamun Shaheed

I love to imagine....I guess thats the only thing that keeps me going and going and going....
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