How to Calculate BCWS

Written by paige turner | 13/05/2017
How to Calculate BCWS
BCWS calculations are used for project planning. (holding laptop image by Adam Borkowski from

A project's performance can be measured by calculating three cost-related values. The budget cost of work scheduled, or BCWS; the actual cost of work performed, or ACWP; and budgeted cost of work performed, or BCWP. BCWS is also called the planned value. These values can be used to measure the cost variance, schedule variance, schedule performance index and cost performance index for the project. These indicators provide information about whether the project is tracking within the projected budget and time line.

Define all your project deliverables. Break the project down into specific independent tasks (WBS or work breakdown structures) that can be evaluated on their own. As an example, if your goal is to serve a meal for customers at a restaurant, you can break this down into purchasing the ingredients, cooking the meal, serving the meal and providing service during the meal.

Create project milestones with clear criteria for what work will be performed for each WBS by the milestone date.

Calculate the total planned cost of the scheduled work (BCWS) for each milestone by taking the total planned cost of scheduled work for the entire task and multiplying it by the fraction of time that it takes to get to the milestone. As an example, if the total projected time for the task is 6 days with a projected cost of £650 and the milestone is set to 3 days (for 50% completion of the task) then the BCWS for the task is 0.5*$1000 or £325.

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