I am currently executing couple of engagements on a Fixed Bid pricing model and am facing challenges in finding out and reporting accurate schedule and cost variances. My organization currently does not mandate usage of Earned Value as a reporting tool. I have began using EV and would like to see for myself the usefulness of the analysis.
EV was born out of the necessity of measuring work accomplishment and payments related to work accomplishment to contractors, especially when payment was based on “progress”. With no real mechanism in place to really figure out what was accomplished, periodic payments were made to contractors according to the planned effort (and not based on actual effort) and it quite often led to situations where contractors ended up getting paid according to the original plan while in reality the project either ended up in case of overruns.
While good tutorials and books on EV are hard to come by, I would recommend a series of articles available on Sciforma by Harvey Levine.
I depict the 6 basic measures of EV in the mindmap below. The Plan and the Periodic values are on the LHS, whereas the Performance measures are on the RHS.
I will revisit and share my experiences with EV at a later date.