The control of performance through indicators is a very important management tool for companies. The EVM (earned value management) indicator has been used as a management tool in various types of projects. It has been widely used in construction engineering; however, some authors have identified differences in its use between theory and practice. The main objective of this paper is to compare the practice in the market to the theory of EVM in civil construction projects in the public sector in Brazil.
A study case was conducted of three construction projects in the public sector. The results of the survey were analysed on the basis of a qualitative approach which indicated differences concerning the theory and practice of EVM. With the aim of verifying these differences, the applicability of the model was analysed from the point of view of relevance and adequacy. Later, a detailed study from the perspective of the training and practices of project management was conducted in the contracting companies.