Difference Between Project Monitoring and Earned Value

by Jack Ori

Earned value is one dimension of project planning. This measurement tells managers how much revenue a completed project took in compared to how much it cost to complete the project. Thus, earned value by itself doesn't tell managers enough about how they complete and deliver work to clients. Managers must also monitor projects to determine whether their processes are effective.


Earned value and project monitoring are both measures of how successful a company is at completing and delivering projects. However, earned value is a one-dimensional measure -- it tells managers the costs and profits involved in delivering a project -- while project monitoring tells managers how effective the company is at moving forward on the project and what improvements it may make to deliver projects in a faster, more effective manner.

Broad Picture Vs Details

Earned value -- how much value the project brings to the company in terms of net revenue -- is one detail of a project. Project monitoring requires managers to look at the bigger picture. Managers must examine all the aspects involved in completing a project, including the time and materials needed as well as the processes for completing the project, and determine whether there are flaws or weaknesses in any aspect of their plan for completing the project.

Time vs Money

While earned value is based on examining the money the project brings in, project monitoring focuses on the time it takes to complete the project. Project monitoring tracks how much of the company's time is going into completing the project and seeks to find ways to complete the project that take less time so that ultimately the company can complete more projects more quickly and thus earn more money.


While the earned value focuses on how much the project actually costs the company, project monitoring helps ensure that the project sticks to a budget. Project monitoring looks at how the earned value compares to the planned value of the project, thus ensuring that the project doesn't exceed the budget and making changes if it appears to do so.

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