Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding a baseline to the schedule, part of Project Management Foundations: Schedules.
After the stakeholders approve the project plan, it's important to save that plan. That version of the project plan is called the baseline. That's because it's the measuring stick you use once work begins to compare actual progress to what you planned. Whatever you include in the baseline should go into your change control process, then when you make changes to the baseline, they're recorded as change requests.
A project plan is more than a schedule, so there are several methods you can use to save a baseline. Depending on the type of files you are trying to save. If you're trying to save documents like specifications or requirements, you can store the original versions in a designated baseline folder. Then, if somethign changes, you can edit a copy of the baseline document and flag the revisions as change requests. Saving baseline values for your project schedule is a different story.
Project scheduling programs usually have a feature for saving a baseline. When you save a baseline in this way, the program saves the current, that is approved, values. Like start and finish dates, task duration, work hours, cost, and so on. As you can see here. The benefit of saving a base line becomes apparent as you record your progress or adjust the schedule. Once you start recording, what actually occurs, or make changes to the approved schedule.
You can compare your planned values and current values to look for changes in dates and costs. For example, in this view a task that took longer than planned, has delayed the tasks that follow. The start variance field show how much tasks have been delayed. In addition, the grey task bars in the time scale are the baseline for when tasks were supposed to occur. The blue and red task bar show the current schedule. You can see the delays in the timeline, because the blue and red bars are further to the right in the time scale.
Cost is another measure in a baseline. In our example, the extra hours of work that made the task longer also increased its cost. So the current cost is greater than the baseline. If you see that tasks are delaying, or costs are increasing compared to the baseline, you can identify changes to bring the project back in line.
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- Identifying the work that needs to be done
- Adding milestones
- Delaying or overlapping tasks with lag and lead time
- Assigning resources
- Balancing workloads
- Adding buffers and baselines to the schedule
- Uncovering and correcting out schedule problems<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.