A baseline is a copy of a project plan that you can compare to the current schedule to evaluate progress. You can create and maintain any number of baselines at various stages of the project.
Once, you are done with developing of a schedule for a project and before you update the schedule for the first time, you should create a baseline so that you can compare with the updated schedule with that of the original schedule to observe changes and impacts and for further analysis.
Each baseline can be categorized by its purpose, like initial planning baseline, what-if project plan baseline, or mid-project status baseline. You can compare up to three baselines at one time
Creating a Baseline:
Firstly, open the project for which you want to create and maintain the baseline. Go to Menu bar, choose Project>> Maintain Baselines. Then the maintain baselines dialog box opens up.
This dialog box groups the currently opened project with their corresponding baselines already maintained beneath its current project. You can select any baseline here and rename it going to the baseline name field (as highlighted in below figure).
You can also modify the type of baseline as per the requirement of the project and the stage it is currently in from the drop-down menu. Data date and Last update date fields are auto-populated accordingly with the actual action performed.
To create a new baseline project, select the desired project, (here in this example we have opened a single project) and click “ADD”. In the next dialog box, choose either of the options, save a copy of the current project as a new baseline or convert another project to a new baseline.
If you choose to save the current project as a baseline, the module creates a baseline project with the same name and data date as the current project, but he module appends the name with – B1 and increments each new baseline added. Here in this example, it will be B9, as it is 9th baseline that we have created.
If you choose to convert another project as a baseline of the current project. You will get the open project dialog box opened.
You can select the project to designate as the baseline from the project hierarchy, in this dialog box.
After you create a baseline, you can change its name and assign a baseline type to it.
To delete a baseline from the project database:
Select the project that contains the baseline you want to delete. Choose Project, Maintain Baselines. Select the baseline. Click Delete. You will be prompted with one more confirmation to delete. Remember that you cannot delete any active baseline that is assigned to the current project.
You can even copy the project baseline by simply clicking the Copy button.
To modify a baseline using restore feature:
As a project progresses, changes occur and you may want to modify a baseline project at times then you can use the feature of restoring the baseline as a separate project. In the maintain baselines dialog box, Select the baseline to restore, then click Restore and click Yes. You will then see that the restored project is placed in the same node as the project to which it was linked as a baseline.
After you make enough desired changes to a restored baseline project, you can return it as a baseline to retain the changes for comparing against the current project.
Here is the detailed video tutorial for your better understanding:
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