On the PMP certification exam, you'll see five to ten questions on variances and indexes. Here's fundamental information that project managers need to determine cost and schedule variances and indexes.

  • For variance and indexes, always start with EV.

  • When looking for information on schedule, use PV.

  • When looking for information on cost, use AC.

  • For a variance, subtract.

    • SV = EV – PV

    • CV = EV – AC

    • Negative is bad; positive is good.

  • For an index, divide.

    • SPI = EV / PV

    • CPI = EV / AC

    • Less than 1.0 is bad, greater than 1.0 is good.