In project management monitoring and controlling play a really important role. Because monitoring and controlling activities examine if there are variations from the expected outcomes of the project. And these monitoring and controlling activities are done with the help of project baselines. Schedule baseline is one of the three project baselines. The other two baselines are defined as scope and cost baselines in PMP Training. All together they create the Performance measurement baseline.
In this article, we are going to review the schedule baseline which is a part of Develop Schedule process.
What are Project Baselines in General?
Project baseline refers to a snapshot of the project taken at a specific time as described in project management professional course. The purpose of project baseline is seeing how far the present results deviated from the plans. That’s why these plans are compared to the project baseline. Or if a change request is approved, its consequences to the cost, schedule etc. are revised in the plans, then a different project baseline must be taken.
What is Schedule Baseline?
Schedule baseline is an approved version of a schedule model that can be changed only through formal change control procedures. After the project schedule has been developed, a baseline needs to be taken. Because the actual results may not go as planned in the beginning and during project monitoring and control. So the actual results will be compared with the schedule baseline to determine variation. Based on the variation, preventive and corrective actions need to be taken to get back on track.
What is Included in Schedule Baseline?
Schedule baseline of the project will include start and end dates of each activity, therefore, actual results for each activity will be checked with the help of the schedule baseline. In order to check schedule performance of the project, it will be used as a reference point to compare actual results versus planned values.
Schedule Baseline Example
Let’s give a project schedule baseline example, For instance, if an activity was planned for 5 days, but took 8 days to complete during execution, there is a 3 days’ variance. And if this activity is in the critical path, it will cause 3 days of delay in over project schedule.
Note that, this is just an example for a single activity. If you think that there will be several activities in a project, comparison of actual results with the schedule baseline will give an overall indication of project schedule performance. If the project schedule is behind the planned values, appropriate schedule compression techniques must be applied to complete the remaining activities of the project in a shorter time to complete the project on time.