Is there any real difference between Burn Down Charts and EVM?

In the September/October 2010 issue of IEEE Software Hakan Erdogmus discusses the differences between Earned Value Management and current agile practices such as burn down charts. His conclusion is that while similar these two concepts are not the same.[1] I do not agree, I think burn down charts and all that is merely a special case of EVM.

I do agree with one thing though, calling the budgeted cost of a work item its “value” is a misnomer.

A burn down chart

A burn down chart helps agilists keep their sprints on track.


[1] [doi] H. Erdogmus, “Tracking progress through earned value,” Ieee software, iss. 5, pp. 2-7, 2010.
abstract = {This article explains the concept of earned value for tracking progress in software projects. It discusses the benefits and limitations of earned value. The earned value approach deserves more attention from the software development community in contexts where planning and estimation is part of the culture. The presence of a point of reference against which to compare progress introduces additional metrics that better known techniques do not incorporate. Although these additional metrics are not applicable when plans and estimates are absent, earned value can still be used with proper adaptations.},
author = {Erdogmus, Hakan},
citeulike-article-id = {13767577},
citeulike-linkout-0 = {},
citeulike-linkout-1 = {},
day = {01},
doi = {10.1109/ms.2010.130},
journal = {IEEE Software},
keywords = {20150919},
month = sep,
number = {5},
pages = {2--7},
posted-at = {2015-09-19 08:21:53},
priority = {0},
publisher = {IEEE},
title = {Tracking Progress through Earned Value},
url = {},
year = {2010}

Image sources

About Greger Wikstrand

Greger Wikstrand, Ph.D. M.Sc. is a TOGAF 9 certified enterprise architect with an interest in e-heatlh, m-health and all things agile as well as processes, methods and tools. Greger Wikstrand works as a consultant at Capgemini where he alternates between enterprise agile coaching, problem solving and designing large scale e-health services ...

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