In your project, you should establish a good Project Plan. How to do it with MS PROJECT 2010?
- Make a good task list (what to do?)
- Make a good duration estimation (how long will it take for the task to be completed?)
- Link those tasks (how much time do we need to finish the project?)
- Make a good resource plan and assign appropriate resources to the Tasks (who will do it?)
- Make a good cost estimation for Resources and Tasks (how much money do we need?)
When we have all of these, and we are certain that those are well planned we should save this Plan.
I will give you example with one very simple project. I have four Task:
in Gantt chart:
I have four Resources:
and the costs are:
You can see the Baseline column which is empty!
Now I am ready to save my plan. In MS PROJECT 2010 when you save a plan you are actually saving the Baseline. You can do it here:
and you will get:
You can save up to 11 Baselines (Baseline, Baseline1, Baseline2, …, Baseline10). You can not rename the Baseline (for example in First Plan accomplished at 15.12.2011), and that is bad, but there is no help, so you must remember what is saved in each baseline. But why do we have more than 1 baseline, you may ask? Well, if a huge change comes in your project plan and you want to compare later what was planned at the beginning and compare your initial plan with other plans then you should use more than one plan (Baseline).
When you save your baseline you will get:
- When you apply the Cost Table:
you will get:
you can see that Baseline is the same with the Total cost field, because we did NOT start track the progress of our tasks.
- When you apply the Variance Table you will get:
you can see that Baseline Start and Baseline Finish are the same with the Start and Finish field, because we did NOT start track the progress of our tasks.
When you apply the Work Table you will get:
you can see that Baseline is the same with the Work field, because we did NOT start track the progress of our tasks.
Now it is a time to switch on the Baseline bar in your Gantt chart:
and you will get:
at the bottom part (Grey part) of each task you will see the Baseline. For now it is the same as actual is, because we did not report any task progress yet.
Finally, what is saved in a Baseline?
- Budget work is saved in a Baseline Budget work field
- Budget cost is saved in a Baseline Budget work field
- Fixed cost saved in a Baseline Fixed cost field
- Fixed cost accrual saved in a Baseline Fixed cost accrual field
- Estimated duration (for manually scheduled task e.g. 1 day) saved in a Baseline Estimated duration field
- Estimated start (for manually scheduled task e.g. 1 project start date) saved in a Baseline Estimated start field
- Estimated finish (for manually scheduled task e.g. 1 project start date) saved in a Baseline Estimated finish field
And that is it! The PLANNING PHASE is finished. Now we can start to track actual progress. How? Read my next post.
Until then, best regards!