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MS Project - What is a Baseline

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Hi,

1) What is the Baseline?
2) What is the purpose of multiple Baselines in MS Project?

Someone says we can save multiple baselines like saving multiple versions.
Someone says we must save Baseline also when we save numbered Baseline, like we must save Baseline when we save Baseline1 or Baseline2...

Little confusing...please clarify.

Thanks,
San.
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Question by:sanjay-gandhi
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PortletPaul earned 300 total points
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Well in my opinion NOT having a "baseline schedule" makes using a project schedule  difficult as you cannot gauge what has changed.

Baseline Schedule
A fixed project schedule that is the standard by which project performance is measured. The current schedule is copied into the baseline schedule which remains frozen until it is reset. Resetting the baseline is done when the scope of the project has been changed significantly, for example after a negotiated change. At that point, the original or current baseline becomes invalid and should not be compared with the current schedule.
http://www.maxwideman.com/pmglossary/PMG_B01.htm


You do need to take care of what baseline you are referring to (e.g. there can be a "scope baseline") but I've assume you are referring to schedule.

Multiple baselines allow one to trace change, and quite often a "re-baseline" is taken due to significant changes in scope or other substantial deviations from an agreed plan.


"Someone says we must save Baseline also when we save numbered Baseline"
It is not a "must do" relationship. One might create a "numbered baseline" purely to help during re-planning and the baseline remains unchanged.

The numbered baselines are known as "interim baselines" in MSP and I view them as the property of the project manager to use as they see fit while planning. The more formal baseline would, in my view, be established (for example) at contract or formal approval points.

PMBOK defines baseline this way:

"The approved time phased plan ... Generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline. Usually used with a modifier (e.g. cost baseine, schedule baseline, performance management baseline, technical baseline)."
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, third edition
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by:sanjay-gandhi
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Thanks, that was a good explanation.

San.
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by:PortletPaul
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Thank you! Cheers, Paul
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