When your boss asks how your project is doing compared to your original plan, the last thing you want to say is “I don’t know.” You can avoid that fate by setting and saving a baseline (baseline plan: The original project plans [up to 11 per project] used to track progress on a project. The baseline plan is a snapshot of your schedule at the time that you save the baseline and includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments.) as a snapshot of your original schedule before your project gets rolling.
- Click Project > Set Baseline > Set Baseline.
- Pick the baseline you want to set.
Tip You can set as many as 11 baselines in a single project. Do this to get frequent snapshots of where things stand.
- Click Entire Project.
You don’t need to take any special steps to save the baseline. When you save your project, the baseline is saved with it.
Project management tip If your current data never seems to sync with your baselines, you may need to take a hard look at your original plan. The project scope may have changed, for example, or you may need more resources than you first thought. Check with your project stakeholders (stakeholders: Individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected by the project.), and consider setting a new baseline using the above procedure.
Read more about how to track the progress of your schedule, whether you’re a beginner or expert.
Update a baseline
If you add a task to your project after a baseline has been set, you can add the new task to this baseline.
- Select the new task you want to add to the baseline.
If the task has subtasks, be sure to select them, too.
- Click Project > Set baseline > Set Baseline, and then pick the baseline you want to update.
- In the Set Baseline dialog box, pick the baseline you want to update.
- Under For, click Selected tasks.
- If you’re adding subtasks, under Roll up baselines, click one of the following to specify how you want subtasks to be added up their summary tasks.
- To all summary tasks Updated baseline data for the new tasks is rolled up to all associated summary tasks, not just the nearest summary task.
- From subtasks into selected summary task(s) Baseline data is updated only for the selected summary task. Typically, you’ll do this so that only the nearest summary task reflects the new roll-up data.