Variance Analysis

Posted on June 29, 2009 by


If projects went exactly as planned, this tool would be unnecessary. Variance Analysis is the comparison of planned results and actual results. The planned results may be found in the Project Management Plan and compared to work performance information. The project manager should be certain that the data itself is trustworthy, and then examine how much variance exists between planned and actual results. Then, the potential impact and causes of any variance should be analyzed, along with determining what action may be needed. Variance Analysis is listed in the fourth edition PMBOK® as a tool of Control Schedule, Control Costs, Control Scope, Report Performance, and as part of the Monitor and Control Risks process. When Earned Value Management is utilized, the formulas of SV and SPI can indicate schedule variance and the formulas of CV and CPI can indicate cost variance. The results of a Variance Analysis may be found in a project’s Performance Reports.