Primavera P6 Tips and Tricks: Tip 10 – Baselining in Primavera P6

Author: Angelo Bucon      Publish Date: November 28, 2012

When creating a project schedule, prior to applying any progress to that schedule, it’s  necessary to first create a Baseline. This extract from the Primavera Tip we shared with our Support Clients explains why we need a Baseline, and shares a couple of common traps you can fall into when baselining projects.

Why Baseline?

Baselines are basically ‘snapshots’ of a project plan against which the project’s schedule (original dates, durations), costs and performance can be measured. It helps to establish the basis against which you are going to deliver your project and measure its success.

P6 allows you to create many baselines for comparison to the current schedule and gives each user the ability to assign up to three baselines to the current schedule for data comparisons. But it’s important to use this capability with restraint.

What happens if you get it wrong?

If you create an excessive number of baselines, rather than using Reflection Projects to test ‘what-if’ scenarios, you may end up using a great deal of system memory which can cause performance issues.

Another common trap is the Baseline Actual Start date not being reflected on the Baseline Start date in the current project. This is because the Earned Value Calculation (Admin Preferences, Earned Value tab) is set to Budgeted Values. This causes the baseline date to always show the baseline planned values. Instead, if At Completion Values is selected, the baseline dates will use the Baseline Start and Finish dates which then reflect an Actual Start from the baseline.

Users can also find that baseline dates do not match Current Schedule dates for a newly created Baseline. If the Baseline was not Scheduled prior to being stored, it is possible that it will show Dates that do not follow the Relationship logic in that Schedule. So you must Schedule that Baseline Project to ensure that logically correct dates are in the Baseline Project.

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