In our scenario, we have completed the first task “Review Process Documentation”, where we went over the baseline work estimate by 4 hours.
As a result, the ‘Work Health’ indicator has turned yellow and the ‘Cost Health’ indicator has turned red.
By following a few simple best practices, the baseline feature can be a tremendous help to any project manager and provide a heads-up on variance where we need to take corrective action to avoid delays or cost overruns.
You will notice that we didn’t overwrite the variance on task 2, where we went over the baseline work estimate and ran 0.5 days late.
With this method, we preserve overages that have already occurred, but incorporate approved dates for new and existing tasks.
You can then hold that picture up against your current schedule to see if and how things are different.
Baselining and variance reporting is also what allows for more visual reporting, such as ‘traffic light’ indicators.
The ‘Schedule Health’ indicator for the subsequent tasks are now red because they have been delayed.
Now, Imagine your sponsor asks to add a task to ‘Interview Customer’ (20 hours of work), which will impact your subsequent tasks and the project completion.
In other words, everything you would want to report against throughout the project.
In the screenshot below, you will notice that the ‘Work’ and ‘Finish’ values have been copied into their respective baseline fields and the Tracking Gantt shows the baseline underneath the current schedule bars.
In addition to ‘Baseline’ (which always represents the most recent version of the approved schedule), there are 10 baselines that can be used to save copies of baselines (Baseline 1 through Baseline10).