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Earned Value Management is a hot topic in the world of project management. This blog post is going to give a brief overview of EVM and outline how to use the Performance Percent Complete functionality in Primavera P6.

Earned Value Analysis is a project management technique for measuring project performance according to project cost and schedule. Earned Value Analysis is used to compare the budgeted or planned cost of work to the actual cost of work. Earned Value Cost is the value of the work performed as of the data date and is calculated as: Earned Value Cost = Budget at Completion x Performance % Complete. In Primavera P6, the method for calculating the Performance Percent Complete technique is selected at the WBS level.

Calculating Performance Percent Complete

There are 5 options for selecting Performance Percent Complete in Primavera P6. The selection is made at the WBS level and pertains to all activities within the WBS. These techniques are selected and calculated as follows:

1. Activity Percent Complete

This technique is used to calculate Earned Value Cost based on the Activity’s percent complete. Primavera P6 gives you 3 options for identifying Activity Percent Complete. These calculations are listed below.

  • Duration % Complete, used when progress is reported based on Remaining Duration:  [(Original Duration – Remaining Duration)/Original Duration]*100.
  • Units % Complete, used when progress is reported based upon actual work performed and remaining units to complete: (Actual Units/At Completion Units) * 100
  • Physical % Complete, used to progress based on personal  judgment.


2. WBS Milestones Percent Complete

This option is calculated based on the completion of the WBS element’s weighted milestones.

3. 0/100

This option calculates earned value cost as 0% after an actual start date is recorded and 100% after the actual finish is reported.

4. 50/50

This option Calculates earned value cost as 50% when the actual start date is reported and 100% upon reporting the actual finish.

5. Custom Percent Complete

This option calculates Earned Value Cost as a user-defined percentage after actual start is reported and 100% after an actual finish date is recorded.

The following Primavera P6 training tutorial demonstrates each of the 5 Performance Percent Complete techniques for calculating Earned Value Cost. The Activity layout depicted in the following examples will display the selected performance percent completed as well as the Earned Value Cost resulting from that selection.

Step 1.  To base Performance % Complete on Activity % Complete, access the WBS window & the Earned Value tab in WBS Details.

Step 2.  View Earned Value Cost based on Activity Percent Complete.


Step 3.  Select WBS Milestones as Performance % Complete.


Step 4.  Setup WBS Milestones & mark when complete.


Step 5. View Earned Value Cost based on WBS Milestones complete.


Step 6. Use 0/100 as Performance Percent Complete.


Step 7. View Earned Value Cost based on 0/100 as Performance % Complete. Notice that the activity has an actual start date but no actual finish date therefore the Performance % Complete is 0. Performance % Complete will be set to 100% when the actual finish date is reported.


Step 8. Select 50/50 as Performance % Complete.


Step 9. View Earned Value Cost based on 50/50. Notice that the activity has an actual start date, but no actual finish date. Therefore, the Performance % Complete is 50%. Performance % complete will be set to 100% when the actual finish date is reported.


Step 10. Use Custom Percent Complete of 6% as Performance % Complete.


Step 11. Review Earned Value Cost based on Custom Percent Complete. Notice that the Performance % Complete is currently 6% because the activity has an actual start date. Performance % Complete will be 100% when the activity has an actual finish date.


Are you interested in learning how to use P6 for EVM calculations? Download Your Free EVM Video Guide.

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