The Department of Defense (DoD) was the key contributor to the development of Earned Value Management in the 1960s. The original concept was called PERT/COST. It was thought to be (and still is by some) overly burdensome to contractors who were mandated to use it.
In 1967, the DoD established a set of 35 criteria, called the Cost/Schedule Control Systems Criteria (C/SCSC). In the 1970s and early 1980s, C/SCSC analysis grew, but many contractors and DoD personnel pushed back on using it. C/SCSC (and EVM today) has often been incorrectly viewed as a strictly financial control tool used by financial analysts, rather than the program management tool that it is.
In 1989 the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, made EVM a mandated method for program management and procurement. In 1991, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney got the attention of the DoD Suppliers by cancelling the Navy A-12 program due to performance problems detected by EVM.
This was seen as a clear sign that EVM was going to be part of all major DoD contracts and programs. The EVM criteria has changed to the current ANSI 748 standard and has spread to all other Agencies and beyond into the private sector in the US and abroad.
There are a number of factors that determine the level of EVM to be used on DoD contracts. These can also be modified by contract officers. Many organizations are being faced with responding to DoD RFPs for the first time.