Using Baselines and Updating a Project Using Microsoft Project
After a schedule has been reviewed and approved in MS Project, it should be baselined. Setting the Baseline copies the Early Start and Finish, the Original Duration and each resource’s Costs and Work into Baseline fields
Once the Baseline is set up in MS Project, you will be able to update your plan and compare the progress with the original plan and be able to see:
- If the planned progress been achieved,
- If the project is ahead or behind schedule, and
- By how much in time and cost.
A Baseline is set by selecting Tools, Tracking, Save Baseline….
There are number of options and forms available to update project tasks after setting the Baseline. Irrespective of which forms are used there are two main methods to update a project:
- Auto Status the project schedule by allowing the software to automatically update the tasks, as if the project progressed exactly according to schedule. Then, if required, adjust tasks to reflect actual events and revisions, or
- Update each task one by one.
Which Baseline Should Be Used?
After a project has progressed it may be necessary to set a new Baseline.
This may occur when the scope of a project has changed and a new baseline is required to measure progress against, but at the same time you may also want to keep a copy of the original baseline.
A new Baseline may be used to display the effect of scope changes on a plan by setting a Baseline, adding the scope change and comparing the revised schedule with the Baseline.
The Baseline data may be reviewed in some Views such as the Task Details Form, in columns and on the Bar Chart. You will be able to display the Baseline 1 to 10 and Interim Plan dates and durations in columns and as a bar on the Gantt Chart but not in the forms. Baseline 1 to 10 also do not have variance columns.
Therefore, it is recommended that the current baseline be saved as the Baseline since the data is more accessible from the Baseline than Baseline 1 to 10. Previous baselines should be copied to Baselines 1 to 10 and preserved as a record.