Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Scott T. Drylie, PhD


Major Air Force contracts are subject to overview utilizing Earned Value Management (EVM). EVM is flexible in its application through the adherence of guidelines rather than strict rules. Due to this method, there is concern for potential abuse of application through overuse of Level of Effort (LOE) as a measurement technique. There are current recommended practices and rules of thumb that suggest LOE should be limited to 15% of a program’s budget with no quantitative research to support this claim. This study examines how LOE is currently employed in ACAT I Air Force programs and what LOE’s impact is on a program’s performance. This is done using data from integrated program management reports (IPMRs) found within the EVM Central Repository (EVM-CR) database and employing descriptive analysis with bivariate and multivariate inferential analysis. Results show there is likely slight influence from the 15% guideline, but LOE application varies widely from 0% to 100%. The actual effect from LOE on a program is found to be nonexistent showing no performance-based reason to be concerned with the amount of LOE utilized. This finding would call for reexamination of recommended guidelines concerning LOE and potentially removing unnecessary limitations of EVM application

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release: 88ABW-2023-0228