lundi 16 septembre 2013

5 Tips For Project Baselines

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The project schedule is a document that changes regularly. So how do you know what the original looked like without saving a new copy every time? Easy-use project baselines.
Here are our 5 tips for creating and using baselines on your projects.
Tip 1: Create an initial baseline
A baseline is a snapshot of your project schedule at any given moment. Baselines help you see what has changed on your project by giving you something that you can refer back to.
Work with your project team to create a full, comprehensive project schedule. Use a task list as the basis, then add in dates, links between tasks and the details of who is doing what. Use the baseline feature in to create an initial baseline. This will let you refer back to the original plan if you need to.
Tip 2: Update your schedule regularly
Remember to update your schedule regularly. Your project schedule will change as tasks are marked as completed, new tasks are added, or dates change. You may also find yourself updating the resources on the schedule. Keeping your schedule up to date is essential for managing your project successfully.
Tip 3: Don't baseline every change
It might be tempting to create a new baseline every time you change something on your schedule, but that really isn't a good idea. You'll end up with far too many baselines and it will be difficult to know which one to use if you want to see what has fundamentally changed!
If you are making day-to-day updates that don't require a formal change control notification or approval by your project sponsor, then you don't have to create a new baseline for that schedule modification.
Tip 4: Create regular baselines
However, you should create regular baselines, especially after a major change to your project schedule. For example, if you add in a new block of tasks, change the project scope to include more work or to take out tasks, or your key milestone dates change, then it is a very good idea to create a new baseline. If you are updating the schedule as a result of an approved change that has been through the change control process, then it is a good idea to create a new baseline.
You can save multiple baselines in your software tool, so don't worry about losing any information that you have already saved.
Tip 5: Refer to your baseline at project completion
Project baselines are excellent tools when it comes to the end of your project, because you can use them to see exactly what has changed. When you complete your closure documentation for the project you can refer back to your initial or interim baselines and see how your schedule evolved over the life of the project. You can also use your baselines during a lessons learned meeting.
This can be really helpful when it comes to working on your next project, as you can easily see if any tasks needed to be replanned, and this can help you plan more accurately for next time.

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