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What is a project baseline and what is its importance in project management?

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What exactly is a project baseline? Please explain as well as its importance to the project and in project management.
asked 3 years ago by anonymous

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The project baseline is an original snapshot of the project in terms of schedule, cost, and scope. The main importance of the project baseline is that it can be used to see how much, throughout the project, are we deviating from the original schedule, cost, and scope.

Now to make things even more complicated, you can have more than one baseline per project, so, let's say somewhere during the execution phase you have introduced a large change request (after it was approved) to the project, your project settings (schedule, cost, and scope) will completely be different. So you create another baseline at this point to compare future performance of the project against the latest baseline (as it would be unfair to measure it against the original baseline).

In general, when you say project baseline you mean the project schedule baseline (obviously, this sort of baseline is used to compare the current schedule with the baseline's schedule). There is also a cost baseline and a scope baseline.

You can easily create a baseline in MS Project, here's an article, by Microsoft, on how to do it: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/create-or-update-a-baseline-or-an-interim-plan-HA010156784.aspx
answered 3 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)

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