A Comparison of Different Project Duration Forecasting Methods using Earned Value Metrics
Earned value project management is a well-known management system that integrates cost, schedule and technical performance. It allows the calculation of cost and schedule variances and performance indices and forecasts of project cost and schedule duration. The earned value method provides early indications of project performance to highlight the need for eventual corrective action. Earned value management was originally developed for cost management and has not widely been used for forecasting project duration. However, recent research trends show an increase of interest to use performance indicators for predicting total project duration. In this paper, we give an overview of the state-of-the-art knowledge for this new research trend to bring clarity in the often confusing terminology. The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, we compare the classic earned value performance indicators SV & SPI with the newly developed earned schedule performance indicators SV(t) & SPI(t). Next, we present a generic schedule forecasting formula applicable in different project situations and compare the three methods from literature to forecast total project duration. Finally, we illustrate the use of each method on a simple one activity example project and on real-life project data.
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