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Updating a Baselined Project Plan

I am looking for the easiest way to update a baselined project plan.  

Example:  I have a project that the budget has been baselined but I have decided to change the order of events or redistribute some hours amongst sub tasks.  This is not an issue before actual hours are spent but once the plan is underway and hours have already been spent, it becomes tricky...at least for me.  This has happened enough that I am looking for a better way.

At the moment, I do one of two things:
1.  strip out all the actual hours, make the changes, re-baseline the plan and then update the plan with the actual hours
2.  Make the changes and manually update the baseline for the sub and main tasks.  This becomes increasingly difficult as I need to manually update the baseline budget as well even though the overall budget remains the same.

Is there an easier way??
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1 Solution
I think the answer to your question is that no, there is not an easier way to do this. You might consider using the different numbered baselines, but that's still not going to make rearranging actual work any easier.

The fact that you need to reallocate Actual Work to different tasks indicates that something isn't so great with the project plan. There are many Project Server driven environments where Project Managers are prevented from doing this at all. (Called Managed Time in the Project Server world.) Keep the tasks general enough that this isn't an issue ( typically > 8 hours).

Avoid doing this, and just build a different plan for the next project.

Changing the order of tasks shouldn't cause any problems, and baselines will stick with the appropriate task. Avoid putting dependencies in the project unless there really are dependencies. (Don't use them just to keep the schedule looking neat. Use them to reflect real world constraints)
kiprimshotAuthor Commented:
jbfraser...thanks for the info... Im aware that better project planning could have enabled me to avoid such a question :)  

Typically what has been happening is that a customer wants to move a certain task... training for example... to a later phase... under a different heading in the plan.  So when I move the task, baselined time and all... I then have to update the baseline of the task heading or multiple task headings manually.  Not only the hours but the budget as well.  The overall baseline does not change but the baseline of the task headings do.  I am getting the feeling there is no easier way than manually updating though...which is fine.. I just wanted to be sure.

I know there may be good reasons, but I'll play devil's advocate:

Why change the baseline at all? Yes, in your reports, now the Implementation phase is $10K over baseline, but that 10K came straight out of the Preparation phase. If anyone questions, point out the customer's request to rearrange. I think that would be a fair picture of reality, and will also be a decent indication of the rearranging performed to accomodate the client.

Again, I'm sure you've thought through it already...

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