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Baselining projects

I need to get a quick idiots guide to baselining in microsoft project and what it is all about

I have been PMing for a number of years but never used baselining and need to get up to speed asap for a new project i am doing.

Pointers to other websites would be useful but a summary with links would be even more useful. I assume that baselining refers to the idea of freezing resources at the beginning of the project and being able to track change control as the project progresses. So I guess i need to know if this is correct and if there is anything else it refers to and secondly how i go about using the tools in Project to help this process

thanks
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lz7cjc
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lz7cjc
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dirkvdoCommented:
Hi lz7cjc,

Your assumption about baselineing is not entirely correct. At least not in the sense that you actually freeze resources at the start of a project.
A Baseline is the time and budget snapshot that is to be taken after the acceptance of the project plan. Generaly the project owner (the one who pays the bills) will only be interested in the final deadline of the project and the total cost. As a project manager you need more checkpoints. During a project you will for instance define milestones. All the information entered in MS-Project at the moment of baselining will be recorded in the baseline. Whenever a task starts to deviate from the baseline, it can be shown, using filters, reports or conditional formatting of the task (i.e. red text for tasks that exceed the baseline).

If you need more info, just ask. Btw. about what tools would you like more info ?

Dirk.
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lz7cjcAuthor Commented:
that kind of makes sense, thank you
a guess it would be useful to see an example of the process and how it can help in managing the project, the obligatory information that needs to be tracked... and perhaps a tutorial showing how best to utilise the functionality

let me know if any of that is possible - your explanation is a good start but not enough to get me up to speed

thanks
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dirkvdoCommented:

If you haven't read them already, there are some nice explanations of the basic use of baseline information on the microsoft site :

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project/HP010419371033.aspx?pid=CH010687701033

Baselines help you manage a project in the sense that you can compare Actuals with the baseline data to control the state of a task.
Reporting based on comparisons with the baseline are particularly handy for stakeholders and steerco meetings.
MS Project supports multiple baselines per project (I believe 10 or 11). Use extra baselines for selected tasks or after the project was changed. I tend to use baseline 0 for the master baseline, and every time a major change is applied to the project, it is baselined again, keeping it in another baseline.

Grtz,
Dirk.
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lz7cjcAuthor Commented:
thanks Drik - I guess i just need to play with it now.. if you have any other links that you think might be useful feel free to let me know!
but will award the points now

thanks foryour help
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