Project Management Guide
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What is Cost Variance in Project Management?

Cost variance is the process of evaluating the financial performance of your project. Cost variance compares your budget that was set before the project started and what was spent. This is calculated by finding the difference between BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed) and ACWP (Actual Cost of Work Performed). The ideal cost variance is when your ACWP matches your BCWP; however, this is almost impossible to achieve. Cost variances can be positive or negative, depending on how closely your ACWP matches up to your BCWP. The purpose of knowing your cost variance is to help you track your finances as your project progresses.

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