The earned value method (EVM) is a recognized management technique that is used for monitoring, evaluating, and controlling the progress of projects. The method’s employability challenges have consistently been addressed in the literature along with proposed enhancements that aim at improving its application. The overall objective of this paper is to synthesize those limitations reported to be encumbering EVM employability and to examine the main enhancements proposed for the EVM traditional set of metrics. To this effect, this paper initially validates the importance of project controls, as the top factor cited as being critical to the success of projects. Secondly, it presents a classification of the shortcomings reported to be impeding EVM employability, along with their corresponding improvement studies. As such, the paper looks at the temporal distribution of these limitation and improvement research studies, while shedding light on the trend of such interconnected research efforts over the last three decades. As such, the paper presents a synthesis of the improvements found to be affecting the representation, usage and measurements of the EVM set of metrics, with the aim of gaining perceptiveness on how the reported EVM shortcomings may probably be overcome. The findings revealed that the highest frequency of reported improvements (138 in total) was found to be pertaining to the method’s set of key parameters.
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