Saving a Baseline and Updating Progress

Saving Original Plan Information Updating Task Progress 308

Using a Baseline 298

By now, you've completed the planning phase of your project. The scope is set, along with the project goals and objectives. The tasks and deliverables are scheduled. The budget is approved, and you've procured the necessary human, equipment, and material resources. Your project plan reflects all these details and has been signed off by upper management or by your customers.

After all this, you're ready to charge forward with your team and actually start doing the work prescribed by the project. You are now leaving the planning phase and entering the execution phase.

The execution phase consists of four major activities:

Tracking. You track progress on tasks so you know when tasks are actually completed by their assigned resources. Analyzing. You examine any differences between your original plan and how it's actually progressing. You monitor the differences in schedule or cost to anticipate any potential problems.

Controlling. You take any necessary corrective actions to keep the project on a steady course toward completion by its deadline and on its budget. Reporting. You keep stakeholders informed. Whether you're providing the big picture to your team members or presenting high-level progress information to executives, you regularly report various aspects of project information.

You used Microsoft Office Project 2003 in the planning phase to organize, schedule, and budget your project. Now you can use it in the execution phase to enter progress information, analyze performance, and generate status reports. With a close eye on progress and performance, you can adjust the project plan as necessary to ensure that your scope, schedule, costs, and resources are all balanced the way you need.

To execute your project with Project 2003, do two things:

• Save baseline information on your project as planned.

• Enter progress information as your resources begin to complete tasks.

With both baseline and progress information in hand, you can use the power of Microsoft Project to execute your project toward a successful outcome.



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