According to the PMBOK (5th edition) glossary, variance analysis is
- A technique for determining the cause and degree of difference between the baseline and actual performance.
This is the analytical technique listed for the monitor and control project work, control costs, control scope, and control risks PMI processes. It is described in section 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 of the PMBOK. Some project management software will report the schedule variances that can then be used for the analysis. It is also a technique used as part of the cost performance reviews as part of earned value management (EVM). Variance analysis is also used in control processes.