The Baseline Execution Index (BEI) is a powerful metric that is used to track and report how closely a project is being executed in comparison to the baseline schedule. While this metric can be used to track starts or finishes, normally BEI is used to track finishes. For the rest of this appendix, BEI will refer to task finishes.
What is counted
The BEI metric takes into account baselined and non-baselined discrete tasks. Milestones, summary tasks, and level of effort tasks are excluded.
The latest BEI formula that is published in the October 2012 DMCA Earned Value Management System (EVMS) Program Analysis Pamphlet (PAP) DCMA-EA PAM 200.1 is shown below.
Total # of Tasks Completed
Total # of Tasks Completed before Now + Total # Tasks Missing Baseline Finish Date
This formula is very confusing. In fact, if you Google the BEI metric, you will find a variety of different interpretations of what it means and what it counts. Some of these interpretations are right, some are not. The confusion comes about because DCMA has added non-baselined discrete tasks into the formula. Whereas in the past, the BEI metric took into account only baselined discrete tasks, we now simply need to add non-baselined completed tasks into the equation. Let’s take a look…
The old BEI formula included just baselined discrete tasks:
Total # of Basedlined Tasks Completed
Total # of Baselined Tasks w/ Baseline Finish <= Status Date
The new BEI formula still includes the baselined discrete tasks, but it now also includes the total number of completed, non-baselined tasks.
Total # of Basedlined Tasks Completed + Total # of Completed Non-Baselined Tasks
Total # of Baselined Tasks w/ Baseline Finish <= Status Date + Total # of Completed Non-Baselined Tasks
In the new formula, we simply need to add the Total # of Completed, Non-Baselined Tasks to both the numerator and the denominator. The improved formula is much easier to understand than the formula used by DCMA.
Once calculated, the BEI metric will give you one of three possible values. The BEI value could be equal to 1.0, it could be less than 1.0, or it can be greater than 1.0.
If an equal quantity of tasks were completed as were baselined to be completed, we will have a BEI = 1.0. If less tasks were completed than were baselined to be completed, our BEI value will be less than 1.0. And if more tasks were completed than were baselined to be completed, our BEI value will be greater than 1.0.
Most organizations, including DCMA, consider 0.95 or better to be an acceptable BEI.
BEI Task Count Categories
Baselined to be Finished:
This is the count of baselined discrete tasks that have a baseline finish date on or before the Status Date. This is the count of discrete tasks that should be finished and includes both completed and incomplete baselined discrete tasks.
Completed Baselined Tasks:
This is the count of baselined discrete tasks that have been completed.
Completed Non-Baselined Tasks:
This is the count of completed, non-baselined discrete tasks.
A Delinquent Task is a task that has a baseline finish date that is on or before the Status Date but has not been completed yet. This task should be finished. It is baselined to be finished. But for whatever reason, the task has not been finished. Delinquent tasks negatively impact the BEI metric.
An Early Finish is a task that has a baseline finish date in the future (later than the Status Date) that has been completed. This task was not baselined to be completed yet but for whatever reason, the task has been completed earlier than originally planned. Early Finishes positively impact the BEI metric.
Interpreting the BEI Metric
The BEI metric is a powerful metric if you really understand how to interpret it. The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that every discrete task has a value of 1 no matter how long the task is or how short the task is. Each task is simply counted once. They are not weighted based on complexity or any other factor. This is an important thing to consider because it means that you can really affect the BEI metric by completing several future tasks with very short durations to artificially positively impact the BEI value. Because of this, you should really focus your attention on two categories of BEI task counts when reviewing the BEI metric. These are Delinquent Tasks and Early Finishes.
Delinquent tasks should be reviewed to see what the new forecasted finish is and how much total float is remaining for each task. Delinquent tasks with 0 days or less total float are potentially driving your schedule. And if you the project is using Earned Value Management, delinquent tasks are causing negative schedule variance.
Early finishes should also be reviewed to see what work was completed earlier than baselined. While on the surface this may sound like a positive, early finishes are often used to offset negative schedule performance by masking or hiding the impact of delinquent tasks.