# Good operational definition for Schedule Variance

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#### Deepu

I am in QA, but find the way people calculate schedule variance in various organizations a bit confusing. Some examples:

% SV = ((Actual Duration - Planned Duration)/ Planned Duration)*100 where everything is in calendar days

A more complicated one I have seen:
% Schedule Variance = ((Actual Completion Date - Actual Start Date) - (Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date)) / ( Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date ) * 100

Agree that we need to look at the operational definition of schedule variance for the individual organization, but is there a simple one which will make things more clear? If QA itself is confused in this regard, you can imagine the plight of the users. In my current organization, schedule commitments are of paramount importance. So we see substantial effort variance, but generally schedule variance is zero. Of course people may be working 16 hours and on weekends to achieve this, so there is a lot of burn out and quality issues. But since SV=0, the project managers are coming and saying that it is not needed in the organization. Of course I tell them that though it is 0 now, it need not be the case always. With quality issues, maybe th customer's viewpoint on SV may be better.

It would be great if more experienced members in this forum could give their views on a better operational definition/formula for schedule variance. Also how effort variance (SV's pair metric) is calculated in such cases.

#### Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
I am in QA, but find the way people calculate schedule variance in various organizations a bit confusing. Some examples:

% SV = ((Actual Duration - Planned Duration)/ Planned Duration)*100 where everything is in calendar days

A more complicated one I have seen:
% Schedule Variance = ((Actual Completion Date - Actual Start Date) - (Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date)) / ( Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date ) * 100

Agree that we need to look at the operational definition of schedule variance for the individual organization, but is there a simple one which will make things more clear? If QA itself is confused in this regard, you can imagine the plight of the users. In my current organization, schedule commitments are of paramount importance. So we see substantial effort variance, but generally schedule variance is zero. Of course people may be working 16 hours and on weekends to achieve this, so there is a lot of burn out and quality issues. But since SV=0, the project managers are coming and saying that it is not needed in the organization. Of course I tell them that though it is 0 now, it need not be the case always. With quality issues, maybe th customer's viewpoint on SV may be better.

It would be great if more experienced members in this forum could give their views on a better operational definition/formula for schedule variance. Also how effort variance (SV's pair metric) is calculated in such cases.
Can someone help?

Thank you!

Stijloor.

U

#### Umang Vidyarthi

I am in QA, but find the way people calculate schedule variance in various organizations a bit confusing. Some examples:

% SV = ((Actual Duration - Planned Duration)/ Planned Duration)*100 where everything is in calendar days

A more complicated one I have seen:
% Schedule Variance = ((Actual Completion Date - Actual Start Date) - (Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date)) / ( Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date ) * 100

Agree that we need to look at the operational definition of schedule variance for the individual organization, but is there a simple one which will make things more clear? If QA itself is confused in this regard, you can imagine the plight of the users. In my current organization, schedule commitments are of paramount importance. So we see substantial effort variance, but generally schedule variance is zero. Of course people may be working 16 hours and on weekends to achieve this, so there is a lot of burn out and quality issues. But since SV=0, the project managers are coming and saying that it is not needed in the organization. Of course I tell them that though it is 0 now, it need not be the case always. With quality issues, maybe th customer's viewpoint on SV may be better.

It would be great if more experienced members in this forum could give their views on a better operational definition/formula for schedule variance. Also how effort variance (SV's pair metric) is calculated in such cases.
The ideal way to remove confusion is to follow the Definition: "Any difference between the scheduled completion of an activity and the actual completion is known as Schedule Variance."

Have another look and you will find that both of your sited versions are saying the same thing.

Have a look here for Earned Value.

Umang