Schedule Variance: What is Schedule Variance in Project Management?

The ability to keep projects on schedule is one of the many tasks of a project manager, who has many others. It is quite simple to deviate from the previously agreed-upon timetable for a project. Despite the fact that schedule deviations might occur for many reasons beyond anyone’s control, the vast majority of them are preventable. Schedule variance has an impact on a variety of critical success factors, including the project’s budget and timeframe.

Schedule variation (SV) is an essential statistic in earned value management (EVM), and it is measured in percentages. You may use this tool to check how well you’re staying under budget and meeting the project’s timetable.

Monitoring the progress of your project’s timeline is an excellent strategy for ensuring that it stays on track and reduces the likelihood of scheduling mishaps in the future. As a result, applicants for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification should be familiar with the concept of schedule variance prior to taking the PMP exam.

What is project management’s schedule variance?

The Schedule Variance (SV) of a project is a metric that indicates how the project’s schedule is presently operating. When deciding how to finish a project on time, a number of factors are there to consider. With the help of SV, the PM and program staff may determine how to use their remaining resources most efficiently.

It is necessary to monitor schedule variance in order to determine whether or not you are on schedule or behind schedule in your work. In addition, project managers may use this information to identify difficulties early in the project’s lifecycle and determine how to distribute the project’s remaining resources efficiently throughout the balance of the project’s length.

For example, if you have rented certain equipment for a specific period, you may be required to pay an additional fee if you need the equipment for a more extended period of time. In other cases, depending on how urgent the issue is, you may be required to rent this equipment from a variety of suppliers at a higher fee.

An instrument for analyzing data Schedule Variance shows you whether or not your project is on track or lagging behind its scheduled completion date.

Before estimating schedule variance, What factors look for?

Design a project using the formula:

Identifying successes and failures that may affect the expected value might help you forecast schedule deviations week by week. This might help you anticipate difficulties. Using the schedule variance formula early in the project’s life cycle can help employees and stakeholders understand the project’s scope.

Double-check your schedule variance calculations:

It would be best if you double-checked your calculations to calculate schedule variance. Double-check your data entry even if you employed a computer program or application to calculate the results. If you did this calculation manually, double-check your figures to ensure that everyone involved in the project has the correct information.

Technique for determining the project’s quality:

While you can use schedule variance to illustrate project progress, it does not consider the effects of work performance. For example, a project may be late because employees need more time to complete their jobs well. Enable quality assurance of the project’s core components. Schedule variance calculations and quality checks help you understand your project’s progress.

How to calculate schedule variance?

In order to figure out the schedule variance (SV), use the following formula:

SV is equivalent to the product of EV and PV.

Where EV denotes earned value and PV means planned value.

To figure out how much money the project is worth, you use a tool called the earned value method. It shows how much of the work that was supposed to be done (in terms of money) has been done over a period of time.

Budgeted value is the part of the budget that pays for the amount of work that should have been done throughout a number of periods. This particular instance is centered on the project’s initial design (or project plan).

Both parameters must be in the same unit and be the same length of time. This is usually a monetary unit (like $) or man-days (s).

There are two options in both the EV and PV terms: a single period or many periods. It is the equivalent in both circumstances, but the foundations are built on different assumptions.

We can figure out the following from the formula:

Schedule Variance measures how far ahead or far behind you are in relation to your original deadline.

You’re on track as long as the Schedule Variance is 0. After that, there will be no more changes to the schedule because all of the planned value has been achieved.

How to calculate schedule variance?

Using an example and plugging in the numbers will help you fully understand this math. Let’s imagine you’re in charge of a 12-month project with a $100,000 budget.

You’ve got to finish it in 12 months and have a $100,000 budget as part of your job. Unfortunately, only 40% of the project has been completed after 6 months and $60,000 spent.

In the question, it says:

Sixty thousand dollars is the cost (AC).

50 percent of 100,000 = Planned Value (PV).

The equivalent of $50,000 in US dollars

However, the question states that half of the time has already elapsed; therefore, we can conclude the planned value. So assuming the funding was fairly allocated, you may think that the projected value will be 50 percent.

Earned Value (EV) is 40% of the $100,000 price.

This is about $40,000.


Deviation from the planned schedule equals Earned Value – Planned Value

How much are two numbers apart? That’s how much it is!


The project’s Schedule Variance is -10 000 USD in total. Because it’s negative, you’re already behind schedule.


Details about how the project will operate, including risk management, are fill out throughout the planning process. However, if your tracking and monitoring methods aren’t up to par, no amount of planning or scheduling will be able to save you from a project’s inevitable failure.

Knowing how your project is developing in relation to the timetable is just as critical as knowing by how much — so that you can pivot as needed and bring the project back on track if the need arises.

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