Setting a baseline

Note Starting in Project 2002, the Planning Wizard no longer appears when you save your project.

In most cases, you need to save the project file — without saving the baseline itself — several times during the planning phase.

When you're ready, you can use the Save Baseline dialog box to save up to 11 baselines and 10 interim plans for your project. Each baseline is a picture of your project at the time that you save it, and each baseline that you save includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments. For tasks, Project saves duration, start and finish dates, work, timephased work, cost, and timephased cost. For resources, Project saves work, timephased work, cost, and timephased cost information with the baseline. For assignments, Project saves start and finish dates, work, timephased work, costs, and timephased costs.

When you save interim plans, Project saves a set of task start and finish dates that you can compare with another interim plan or with a baseline plan, thus helping you to keep an eye on progress or slippage. Saving baselines and interim plans helps you to compare current information (found in the start and finish fields) with baseline information (found in the baseline fields). The distinction between baselines and interim plans in Project is the amount and type of information that Project saves.

To control the settings when you save a baseline, follow these steps:

1. Choose Tools O Tracking O Save Baseline to open the Save Baseline dialog box, as shown in Figure 11-2.

2. Set up the baseline that you want to save.

Figure 11-2: Use this dialog box to save a baseline or interim plan.

3. Open the Save baseline list box, and select the baseline that you want to save.

When you save baselines for selected tasks, you can choose to roll up baselines to all summary tasks and from subtasks into their parent summary task(s) — thus helping to maintain accurate baseline information, as shown in Figure 11-3. The relationship between the tasks in the project and the task(s) that you select prior to opening the dialog box determines the effect of these check boxes.

Figure 11-3: You can control Project's behavior when rolling up baseline information for selected tasks.

For example, suppose that you have a project set up like the one shown in Figure 11-4. Furthermore, suppose that you select Task 6, a child of Task 1 and the parent of Tasks 7 and 8, before you open the Save Baseline dialog box. If you select only the From subtasks into selected summary task(s) check box, Project rolls up the information from Tasks 7 and 8 to Task 6. If you select only the To all summary tasks check box, Project rolls up baseline information from Task 6 without regard to the baseline information that is stored for Tasks 7 and 8. If you select both check boxes, Project rolls up baseline information from Tasks 7 and 8 to Task 6 and then rolls up that information to Task 1.

Suppose that you want to update the baseline to reflect approved changes to the project, such as added tasks, or changes to existing tasks that affect the cost or schedule of the tasks. Highlight the added or changed tasks and the parent summary task and then save the baseline. In the Save Baseline box (refer to Figure 11-3), choose the Selected tasks option and check both boxes in the Roll up baselines section. Project will update the baseline for the changed tasks and then change all the summary levels to reflect the change.

Figure 11-4: Ancestry determines baseline information rollup behavior. In this sample project, Tasks 3 and 6 are children of Task 1, and Task 6 is the parent of Tasks 7 and 8.
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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