According to the Federal News Radio, recently NASA proposed to scale back its requirements for establishing and maintaining an Earned Value Management System for firm-fixed price (FFP) contracts. It means that for small FFP contracts, there is not going to exist the need of a complete application of the known technique.
I have used EVM in small projects for many years with a spreadsheet and an assistant. The Practice Standard for Earned Value Management of the PMI has 50 pages and is very easy to read and apply. The ANSI/EIA-748-B-2007 has less than 25 pages and is equally easy to apply. Nevertheless, I have reviewed some public documents of NASA about EVM and I think that the system is big and complex. Probably, the processes of NASA were designed for projects larger than US$ 50 millions.
EVM is a good technique that combines measurements of scope, schedule, and cost in a single integrated system. When properly applied, it provides an early warning of performance problems even for small projects. It is clear that the majority Project Management Systems are not focused in EVM and are not a very good help. That’s why I’m building a simple web based EVM system that is going to be launched on July of this year. Please, send me a message if you want to become a beta tester for it.