Forward-Looking State-of-the-Art Review on Earned Value Management Systems: The Disconnect between Academia and Industry

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Earned value management (EVM) is a project management approach that can enhance the probability of project success. It is applied widely across different industry sectors (e.g., energy, aerospace, construction, defense, and manufacturing), generally through the use of an earned value management system (EVMS). A holistic and up-to-date literature review on EVM and EVMS does not exist. A literature review can provide a comprehensive perspective on the topic, identifying and summarizing the existing body of knowledge, as a foundation to advance the state of practice of EVM/EVMS. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to investigate the EVM/EVMS state of the art by critically reviewing academic and industry publications, with a specific focus on the maturity of EVMS and the environment surrounding its implementation. By performing a systematic literature review, the authors identified 600 publications since the inception of the EVM concept in 1962, and then narrowed down this list to 160 relevant publications from the last decade for closer review. The findings include the discovery of eight emergent themes. Of these themes, "forecasting/prediction"constitutes the largest portion of the recent literature, followed by "application of EVMS."One interesting finding is that EVMS maturity, although being a critical topic, is only discussed in one publication. Publications focused on EVM/EVMS have increased in the last decade and significant differences were found between academia and industry literature in terms of the limitations and extensions of EVM/EVMS, EVMS environment, and compliance. A key finding is that designing a reliable EVMS should combine both technical and social aspects of implementation. This forward-looking paper provides a state-of-the-art review while highlighting gaps in the existing EVM/EVMS body of knowledge and introducing new perspectives to support EVMS research and application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number03122001
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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