Standards Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, recognised by the Australian Government as the peak non-government Standards body in Australia. Standards Australia develops internationally aligned Australian Standards that deliver Net Benefit to Australia and is the Australian member of ISO and IEC.
In the above capacity, Standards Australia published the AS4817-2006 standard that outlines the requirements and provides guidance for the measurement and reporting of cost and schedule performance of projects and programs using the Earned Value Performance Measurement (EVPM) method.
The standard provides key definitions, setting the scene for a common terminology around this subject area and an explanation as to what Earned Value and Earned Value Performance Measurement are all about.
The majority of the standard, as you would expect, is dedicated to detailing the steps necessary for adequate application of the EVPM method. Each of the processes necessary for a complete application of the method is explained while providing an elaboration of the requirements (as relevant to each of the processes) and a guidance section, attempting to provide further clarity to the correct and incorrect aspects of executing the process.
The standard concludes with a set of appendices providing further explanation to the way project performance should be measured and analysed as well as a collection of charts that could accompany performance measurements reporting.
Contractors operating on Australian DoD projects are required to further comply with a Supplement to the standard (titled “Defence Supplement to AS4817-2006 – Project performance measurement using Earned Value”). The supplement provides additional set of requirements and clarifications, specific to the Defence domain. For example, while determining the requirements for the process “Develop time-phased budget”, the standard states that Management Reserve (MR) may be created. The supplement however makes it a mandatory item by declaring that Management Reserve must be set aside.
Understanding the standard is a mandatory starting point for any implementation of a EVPM system. Proper and correct execution of each of the processes defined by the standard are crucial for successfully being able to measure and report on cost and schedule performance of projects and programs using the EVPM method.