Gartner Research

Pros and Cons of Earned Value Management on Agile Projects

Published: 30 March 2017

ID: G00325666

Analyst(s): Matt Light


Earned value management has been a tool used by some program and portfolio management leaders to monitor large projects and programs. Due to the nature of agile projects, the use of EVM on such projects can be problematic, although not without some potential benefits.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Use "Heartbeat Retrospectives" to Compare the Planned Scope of Agile "User Stories," Individually and in Aggregate, With Business Outcomes, and to Iterate Schedule and Budget Estimates and Progress
    • Reflect on How to Become More Effective at Value Management
  • Use a Form of "Quasi EVM" (or Agile EVM), Not Standard EVM, to Focus Agile Projects on Iteratively Detailing Work to Be Performed, Thereby Decreasing Generalization and Uncertainty
    • Early Baselines Cause Costly Overhead — Wait Until MMP Comes Clearly Into View
    • Agile EVM: Not for Fixed-Scope Projects
  • Avert the Hindrance of Ill-Suited Controls on Programs of Ongoing Application Maintenance and Enhancement by Avoiding EVM, Which Is Not a Fit, in Favor of Other Approaches

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