Earned Value Management System State of Practice: Identifying Critical Subprocesses, Challenges, and Environment Factors of a High-Performing EVMS

Vartenie Aramali, G. Edward Gibson, Mounir El Asmar, Namho Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


For more than five decades, Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS) have been applied by organizations to manage their projects in different industries. However, many organizations still struggle to apply Earned Value Management (EVM) techniques to assess and reliably control their project outcomes. This work investigated the state of practice of EVMS. This paper identifies challenges facing practitioners, critical EVMS subprocesses, and key EVMS environment factors, based on a large survey of 294 expert respondents. Sample respondents had project management experience of greater than 20 years on average, and represented a diverse set of projects and industries (e.g., capital projects, aerospace, defense, energy, and others). The responses from this survey helped craft an agreed-upon set of definitions for EVM, EVMS, EVMS maturity, and EVMS environment that are all provided in this paper. Moreover, out of 10 total EVMS subprocesses, planning and scheduling was ranked as the subprocess with the greatest impact on EVMS, by far. When ranking the top factors that impact the EVMS environment, the following factors rose to the top: organizational culture; efficient EVMS development process; leadership's past EVMS experience; effective and accountable leadership; and quality and level of data available. Moreover, leadership attitude toward EVMS was found to be the most critical EVMS challenge, by a wide margin. Comparing different perspectives, the data showed that project/program owners consider EVM implementation costs to be a major challenge, while contractors and consultants consider adequate calendar time needed for preparing EVMS to be a critical EVMS environment factor. Overall, this paper contributes to the engineering management body of knowledge by identifying the most important subprocesses and factors of a high-performing EVMS applied to a diverse array of complex projects and programs (e.g., aerospace, defense, construction, software, etc.) and uncovering corresponding key challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0000925
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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