So I sat down a couple of days ago to knock out a couple of screenshots to support my upcoming EVM presentation at the Project Conference. My goal was to illustrate a well-known issue with how EVM is calculated within the Project client.
For years, I’ve heard how Microsoft Project cannot calculate BCWP for tasks that complete ahead of schedule – i.e. BCWP only accrues during the same time period as the task baseline. This has long been a significant complaint about the EVM engine within Project.
Much to my surprise, I found that I couldn’t get the functionality to fail. After some testing, it appears that the fine folks at Redmond have quietly fixed a very significant issue that has been lurking in the shallow depths of the Microsoft Project client. Or maybe, in the nature of software bugs the world over, it just fixed itself as an unintended consequence of some other change.
In the example below, I have marked several tasks as complete – even though the baseline dates clearly are displayed after the status date. Note how BCWP is calculated.
Yep. BCWP is definitely accruing for ahead of schedule tasks.
Through some preliminary testing, this functionality seems related to the Microsoft Project 2010 baseline mechanism. When I tested this against a file baselined in 2007, I could not get BCWP to appear correctly. It was only after I rebaselined the file in 2010 that BCWP would calculate.
Now, I am sure that there will still be challenges in using Microsoft Project standalone to support EVM calculations, but this is definitely a very welcome step in the right direction.