Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
You can use baselines to debrief yourself or your team at any point in a
project. This is especially useful at the end of a project, when you can compare
what really happened against your best guesses those many weeks, months,
or even years ago. You can then become a much better user of Project,
making more accurate estimates up front. You can also use a baseline and the
actual activity that you track against it to explain delays or cost overruns to
employers or clients by using a wide variety of reports and printed views.
Finally, you can also save and clear baselines for only selected tasks. So, if
one task is thrown way off track by a major change, you can modify your
estimates for it and leave the rest of your baseline alone. Why throw out the
baby with the bathwater?
What does a baseline look like?
After you save a baseline and track some actual activity against it, you get
baseline and actual sets of data as well as visual indications of baseline
Figure 12-1 shows Gantt Chart view for a project, displaying baseline and actual
data. In the sheet area, you can display columns of data to compare baseline
estimates and actual activity: for example, baseline finish and actual finish. In
the chart area, the black line superimposed on the taskbar represents your
baseline estimate. This black line indicates actual activity on that task.
Figure 12-2 shows Network Diagram view. Here, the progress of tasks is
A single slash: This indicates tasks where some activity has been
An X: This indicates tasks that are complete.
A notation of percent completed is included in each task box not marked as
You can change how different graphic elements are represented by
reformatting. See Chapter 11 for more about formatting taskbars and task boxes.
How do I save a baseline?
You can save a baseline at any time by displaying the Set Baseline dialog box.
One setting here — how Project rolls up data to summary tasks when you set
a baseline — requires a little explanation.