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Which one is more important in EVM: CPI or SPI?

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I know what CPI (Cost Performance Index) and SPI (Schedule Performance Index) are. But I'm wondering, which one is more important from an Earned Value Management (EVM) perspective, is it the CPI or SPI? Does it depend on the project/the organization, is SPI always more important than CPI (or the other way around), or do both of them have the same importance?

My own experience is it that it is project dependent, in case of small projects, SPI is more important than CPI as the cost is initially low and allocating more money to finish the project is not a problem, however, the schedule is usually tight.

I'd love to know what others think.
asked 7 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

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I'll take CPI.  EVM gives historical data.  Forecasting gives future outlooks. I can forecast with CPI.

I can with the others too, but CPI has within it the EVM stuff I need.

..and I can usually manage schedule more easily than cost; else Id put SPI right up there too.
answered 7 years ago by anonymous
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This really depends on which elements of the triple constraints (time, cost, and quality) are valued most by the project sponsor.  At the start of a project, its essential to determine the critical success factors --what does the project sponsor want to see in order to call the project a success.  If its time related, the SPI is likely more critical.  If its cost related, CPI would be more important.  You are correct that for small projects, SPI may be more important, but it would be wise to validate that assumption with the project sponsor.
answered 7 years ago by RayF123 (490 points)

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