Baseline Scheduled and Actual Project Information

In the course of monitoring project performance, there are four terms to keep in mind:

Baseline. Baseline dates, costs, durations, and so on, are your project plan's values at the time you saved baseline information. This is also referred to as planned information.

Scheduled. The current project combines the project's actual performance on past and current tasks with the planned schedule for current and future tasks. The combination of the actual and scheduled information forms the current plan as scheduled. In other words, Actual + Remaining = Scheduled.

Actual. Actual progress information reflects real data about task status. Actuals include data such as percent complete, actual work, actual finish date, actual costs, and so on.

Variance. The difference between baseline information and scheduled information is the variance. Project 2003 subtracts the baseline value from the scheduled value (which incorporates any actuals you have entered) to calculate the variance. Therefore, a positive variance means you're behind in your schedule or over budget, whereas a negative variance means you're ahead of the game—finishing faster or under budget. A variance of 0 indicates that your baseline and scheduled values are exactly the same. If actuals have been entered, this means that everything went exactly according to plan. If the task is still in the future, this means that projections forecast that the task will still go according to plan.

Whether you're making large adjustments to respond to large issues or small adjustments to keep a healthy project well on its way, you can always keep a close eye on progress. You can analyze the current status of the project and decide on any corrective actions necessary.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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