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The Origins and History of Earned Value Management

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Patrick Weaver
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The publication of The Origins and History of Earned Value Management in the August edition of PM World Journal (Vol. XI, Issue VIII) marks the end (almost) of a long journey.

This paper looks at the creation of earned value management (EVM) in the 1960s and its development and evolution through to the 2020s. However, the concept of EVM did not suddenly appear, the foundations of EVM were laid by previous generations, this paper demonstrates EVM is a synthesis of ideas and concepts some of which are hundreds of years old. The four precursors to EVM are the use of computers to calculate time schedules (CPM and PERT), sophisticated engineering cost controls, the use of breakdown structures to aid management, and the emergence of the concept of modern project management.  The origins and history of each of these are covering in previously published papers.

When these different strands of development were brought together in the USA in the 1960s, EVM emerged. Tracing each of the histories outlined above has been a fascinating journey.  These papers and many of the source materials are freely available to download from the history section of the Mosaic website: