Apportioned effort is a method of planning and measuring the earned value for effort that is related in direct proportion to measured effort and is not readily measurable or broken into discrete work packages.
Inspection is the most typical use of this method. The amount of time for inspection is directly dependent on the number of items that are produced. As a result, inspection is estimated and planned as a percentage of the production effort. Planned and actual performance are calculated as a percent of the planned and actual performance earned by the prime work package(s). There are other areas where apportioned effort may be applicable including final assembly, testing and subcontract liaison. In each instance, Control Account Managers (CAMs) must be able to determine those percentages of apportioned effort directly relatable to the discrete work it directly supports.
Use of the apportioned effort earned value technique (EVT), when applicable, reduces the time required to assess earned value since it is automatically calculated based on the pre-established proportion to the discrete effort. The analysis of any variance attributable to the discrete work becomes the analysis for the apportioned effort as well. If more inspection were required because of the need for additional items to be produced in the prime work package, that serves as the variance rationale for inspection as well.
The key to apportioned effort is determining those areas included in proposals that indicate areas of a support nature and that are estimated and proposed accordingly.
Commercially available software packages may or may not have the capability to support the use of the apportioned effort EVT; however, an easy solution to this is to record a percent complete for the apportioned work package that is consistent with the parent work package.
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