MS Project 2010 Baseline manipulation needed

Posted on 2014-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-01-16
We have a project which did not get baselined at the appropriate time, but did get an interim plan saved around the right time and also had "Baseline4" saved at nearly the same time. I discovered the trick of being able to save from one baseline or interim set to another and actually manually pasted some values into the fields in the "Baseline0" set, but the project statistics will not show these values.

Is there any way to get MSP to recalculate the dates and other stats for the Baseline0 plan so that it displays correctly in the stats window, reports, etc.?
Question by:Shannon Mollenhauer
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LVL 49

Accepted Solution

PortletPaul earned 501 total points
ID: 40313889
Baselines don't just exist on the task, I don't believe you can mimic a full baseline just by putting some interim plan dates into the baseline column.

If you create a simple project, save is as into the .xml format before taking a baseline
Then save is as into the .xml format after taking a baseline

In the pre-baseline you might bet this many hits on "baseline" in the file:
	Line 4: 	<Name>pre-baseline.xml</Name>
	Line 46: 	<BaselineForEarnedValue>0</BaselineForEarnedValue>
	Line 46: 	<BaselineForEarnedValue>0</BaselineForEarnedValue>
	Line 69: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 69: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 156: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 156: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 163: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 163: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>

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after the baseline:
	Line 4: 	<Name>post-baseline.xml</Name>
	Line 19: 	<BaselineCalendar>Used for Microsoft Project 98 Baseline Calendar</BaselineCalendar>
	Line 19: 	<BaselineCalendar>Used for Microsoft Project 98 Baseline Calendar</BaselineCalendar>
	Line 19: 	<BaselineCalendar>Used for Microsoft Project 98 Baseline Calendar</BaselineCalendar>
	Line 47: 	<BaselineForEarnedValue>0</BaselineForEarnedValue>
	Line 47: 	<BaselineForEarnedValue>0</BaselineForEarnedValue>
	Line 70: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 70: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 157: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 157: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 164: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 164: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>0</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 169: 			<Name>Used for Microsoft Project 98 Baseline Calendar</Name>
	Line 171: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>1</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 171: 			<IsBaselineCalendar>1</IsBaselineCalendar>
	Line 334: 			<Baseline>
	Line 340: 			</Baseline>
	Line 1125: 			<Baseline>
	Line 1131: 			</Baseline>
	Line 1916: 			<Baseline>
	Line 1922: 			</Baseline>
	Line 2122: 			<Baseline>
	Line 2128: 			</Baseline>
	Line 2328: 			<Baseline>
	Line 2334: 			</Baseline>
	Line 2543: 			<Baseline>
	Line 2546: 			</Baseline>
	Line 3051: 			<Baseline>
	Line 3054: 			</Baseline>
	Line 3514: 			<Baseline>
	Line 3519: 			</Baseline>
	Line 3737: 			<Baseline>
	Line 3742: 			</Baseline>
	Line 3960: 			<Baseline>
	Line 3965: 			</Baseline>
	Line 4183: 			<Baseline>
	Line 4188: 			</Baseline>

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Those <baseline> tags include Work e.g.

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With a great deal of loving care and attention you MIGHT get there, but it would NOT be easy.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Thomas Henkelmann
Dr. Thomas Henkelmann earned 501 total points
ID: 40318748

baselines do have a few more functions than just the "Planned Cost" or "Planned Work" fields. First of all Microsoft Project doesn't "know" that a baseline exists only because you enter values in the baseline fields. One way to correct this would be to select a task with no cost and work, then use the "Save Baseline" function with the "Selected Tasks" option and no rollup to summary tasks. The second thing to bear in mind is that "Save Baseline" CALCULATES the summary values for cost and work. You can do this manually for the numbers you copied from Baseline4 (in your description above) but there is no function in Project to calculate them on the fly. Finally, if you enter the manually derived totals on the Project Summary Task (also for Start and Finish), your Statistics will show these values for calculation and reporting.

Hope this helps

LVL 35

Assisted Solution

Bembi earned 498 total points
ID: 40405505
OK, let me add a comment, as I just feel to read a common misunderstanding of baselines....
A baseline is a snapshot of a current planning for later comparison with the ongoing plan.  Physically some major fields like start, end duration, work are just copied into predefined fields (like start1, start2 etc.), that's all. "Baseline" respt. Baseline0 can then be used as the Gantt Chart base to be compared with the ongoing project.
For baseplan fields, there is no calculation mechanism, It just a freezing of the status.

Baselines are stored at major milestones of a project, i.e. if a project is confirmed, if major changes are made. etc. The sense is to freeze a decision state of the plan to be able to compare an actual plan with the status of an agreement or decision. I usually say the life insurance of a project manager.

So, if data in a baseplan is wrong, there are possibly some options to correct them, but they depend from the status of the ongoing project (i.e. if there is already an ongoing tracking).

As long as there are no booked times (% complet = 0%), you can save the current status in another baseline, copy back the wrong baseline, correct it, overwrite the wrong baseline and load back the originally save baseline to get the attest planning.

If there is already booked effort (% complete > 0%)  you may run into trouble, as baseplans doesn't know anything about ongoing effort. So the result can be different from the planning you had, when you saved the baseplan, also only the major fields start, end, duration and work are copied back and are interference by the ongoing tracking.

You also can just insert the fields into a plan, i.e. start1, start2 etc and change the values. But her is no calculation made after the changes, so you have to calculate everything by hand.

What I would point out not to change a baseplan, nevertheless it maybe wrong is the fact that a baseplan is usually agreed by somebody (customer / management etc.). So if the baseplan is wrong, the decision was wrong. And if there are changes to the agreed version, you need a new panning, a new approval and a new baseplan.

Author Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40554148
As is consistent with some of the assessment and feedback here, the effort to populate Baseline0 in a way that would not invalidate the roll up calcs or existing data is excessive, so I'm just pasting in some values in the summaries and tasks which really need them and using the option of selection a different BaselineN for EVM calcs to compare going forward. I appreciate everyone's perspective on this.

Author Closing Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40554161
Definitely some lessons learned about what can and cannot be done to modify the baseline after the fact. The comments about policy and protocol aren't technically relevant, but hopefully they'll be a good reminder to others who read this in the future. I am a PMP and know very well the hazards of major replanning after baselining (or starting work without setting it and having sponsor agreement. Unfortunately, I was not sitting in the room when this process started. I just got to try to clean up the mess!

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