Part way through the project, the manager evaluates the accuracy of the cost estimates for the activities that have taken place and uses that experience to predict how much money it will take
to complete the unfinished activities—**the esti****mate to complete (ETC)**.

To calculate the ETC, the manager must decide if the cost variance observed in the estimates to that point are representative of the future. For example, if unusually bad weather causes
increased cost during the first part of the project, it is not likely to have the same effect on the rest of the project. If the manager decides that the cost variance up to this point in the
project is atypical—not typical—then the estimate to complete is the difference between the original budget for the entire project—the **budget at completion
(BAC)**—and the earned value (EV) up to that point. Expressed as a formula, ETC = BAC − EV.

## Example: Estimate to Complete John’s Move

For his move, John was able to buy most of the items at a discount house that did not have a complete inventory, and he chose to buy an extra pair of lift straps. He knows that the planned values for packing materials were obtained from the price list at the moving company where he will have to buy the rest of the items, so those two factors are not likely to be typical of the remaining purchases. The reduced cost of lunch is unrelated to the future costs of packing materials, truck rentals, and hotel fees. John decides that the factors that caused the variances are atypical. He calculates that the estimate to complete (ETC) is the budget at completion ($1,534) minus the earned value at that point ($162.10), which equals $1,371.90. Expressed as a formula, ETC = $1,534 − $162.10 = $1,371.90.

If the manager decides that the cost variance is caused by factors that will affect the remaining activities, such as higher labor and material costs, then the estimate to complete (ETC) needs to be adjusted by dividing it by the cost performance index (CPI). For example, if labor costs on the first part of a project are estimated at $80,000 (EV) and they actually cost $85,000 (AC), the cost performance (CPI) will be 0.94. (Recall that the CPI = EV/AC.)

To calculate the estimate to complete (ETC), assuming the cost variance on known activities is typical of future cost, the formula is ETC = (BAC – EV)/CPI. If the budget at completion (BAC) of the project is $800,000, the estimate to complete is ($800,000 – $80,000)/0.94 = $766,000.

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