In this final article on Earned Value Reporting we’ll look Percent Complete and Percent Spent. For percent complete, we’re looking at the amount of completed work at a given point against the planned budget at completion. For percent spent, we’re simply considering the amount of planned budget that has been spent so far on a given project.

Newell and Grashina’s book is the basis for much of the information in this discussion on percent complete and percent spent.

What is percent complete?

Percent complete is a simple calculation. It is simply the amount of work that has been completed divided by the budget at completion.

% complete = BCWP / BAC

Notice that the percent complete can never be greater than 100. This is because the BAC is the sum of the budget in the project. The individual values of the budgets in each of the project’s activities, the BCWS, are the same as the individual BCWP for each activity. Since the only difference between the BCWS and The BCWP for an activity is whether or not the activity has been completed, at the end of the project the sum of all of the budgets must equal the sum of all the BCWP. If an activity has not claimed its BCWP, the project is not yet completed. As soon as all of the activities in the project have claimed their BCWP, the project is said to be completed.

What is percent spent?

Percent spent is another simple calculation. It is the amount of the budget that has been spent. It is calculated by dividing the actual cost of work performed by the budget at completion.

% spent = ACWP / BAC


Now that we’ve concluded this review of the various Earned Value Reporting methods as presented by Newell and Grashina in their book “The Project Management Question and Answer Book,” I’d like to hear your ideas on earned value and how much experience you have with using it in your organization. Has it been useful? Has it helped you to better manage your projects? Has it been helpful to your customers? Please feel free to share this information in comments below so all readers can share in this information…thanks.