Schedule Variance (SV) in Earned Value Management

Schedule Variance (SV)

Schedule Variance (SV) in Earned Value Management
Schedule Variance (SV) in Earned Value Management

Schedule variance (SV) calculates the difference between the earned value (EV) (the value of work performed) and the planned value (PV). Although variance in a schedule can be measured in time units, such as days and months, Schedule variance (SV) is expressed as a monetary value such as dollars.
SV is one of the essential outputs of Earned Value Management which informs the project management teams how far ahead or behind the project is at the point of analysis.

Schedule Variance Formula

SV = EV – PV
 SV = Schedule Variance
 EV = Earned Value
 PV = Planned Value

Explanation of Results
 If SV is positive, the task is ahead of schedule.
 If SV is negative, the task is behind schedule.
 If SV is zero, the task is on schedule.

Schedule Variance Example 1

We have a project to be completed in 20 months and the budget of the project is 500,000 USD. 10 months have passed and 300,000 USD has been spent, but only 35% of the work has been completed so far.
Now we will calculate our project’s Schedule variance (SV) and understand if we are behind or ahead of our workschedule.
Planned Value (PV) = %50 * 500,000 = 250,000 USD
Earned Value (EV) = %35 * 500,000 = 175,000 USD
Actual Cost (AC) = 300,000 USD
SV = EV – PV
SV = 175,000 – 250,000 = – 75,000 USD
Our project’s Schedule Variance is -75,000 USD and we are behind the schedule. Therefore, corrective action should be taken to reach the targets.

Schedule Variance Example 2

We have a budgeted cost of a project at $700,000. The project is to be completed in 10 months. After a month, we have completed 10% of the project at a total expense of $150,000. The planned completion should have been 20%.
Planned Value (PV) = %20 * 700,000 = 140,000 USD
Earned Value (EV) = %10 * 700,000 = 70,000 USD
Actual Cost (AC) = 150,000 USD
SV = EV – PV
SV = 70,000 – 170,000 = – 70,000 USD
Schedule Variance is negative and the project is behind the schedule.


Schedule Variance is a strong tool to inspect projects performance. If variance is negative we are behind the schedule and corrective action should be taken to reach the targets. If variance is positive we can say that our projects progress is well.

See Also: Cost Variance (CV) in Earned Value Management


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