A baseline is a "snapshot" of your key project plan values, such as, status, start and target dates, duration, costs, and revenues. PPM Pro captures 2 types of baselines: project/task and staffing.
Project/task baselines are useful for tracking project progress since they contain point-in-time data that you can compare against updated information as the project progresses over time. You can view baseline data at any time, and can report on baseline-to-baseline data and baseline-to-current plan data in order to monitor the progress of the project or identify changes in project scope.
Staffing baselines are useful for tracking demand and changes to it. You can compare a staffing baseline-to-current plan data right on the project Staffing screen. See Comparing Staffing Baselines to Current Resource Staffing for more information.
In addition, if you simply want to capture weekly and monthly snapshots of any project (or portfolio) field, consider using Key Performance Indicator (KPI) fields and trend reports. See How to Set Up KPI Trend Fields for Data Collection and Configure Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Trend Reports. If you think you might be interested in KPI reports, be sure to start collecting data as soon as possible.
When to Create a Baseline?
It is best to create a baseline once the project plan has been fine-tuned and approved by all project stakeholders. The baseline should include the best and most accurate budgets and/or estimates for the project plan including duration, start and target dates, costs, and revenues.
Baseline data that is consistently different from your current project plan may indicate that your original plan was not accurate or has changed. Normally, differences occur if the project scope or project timeline has changed. If project stakeholders make changes, you can update the project plan and create a new baseline that reflects those changes.
You can also create baselines to track the progress of the project as milestones are completed to determine whether the project is on schedule and within budget.
Note that if you make wholesale changes to your project estimates by using the Re-plan feature on the Staffing screen, you will be given the option to create a staffing baseline before the changes are executed (will not affect any project baselines or reports). See Shifting Allocation Dates for more information.
Project Baseline Reports
In addition to the on-screen comparison of a project baseline to the current project values, baseline reports give you access to all baseline info and content (excluding allocations). Having access to this data gives you the ability to quickly compare and contrast baseline-to-baseline and baseline-to-current plan values so that you can understand changes to your project plan and variances between what was planned and what actually transpired. Baseline reports are available at the project and at the summary task level, giving you detailed and flexible access to baseline data for any project.
There are two baseline report sources, which are found in Target:Project/Category:Project list of report sources. Both sources allow you to pick the project to report on and to include existing baseline values as well as the current data.
- Use the All Baseline Details on a Project report source to report on all summary task level baseline details on a specific project. Report values are pulled from summary task-level details.
- Use the All Baselines on a Project report source to report on all baselines on a given project. Report values are pulled from project-level details.
For more information about creating reports, see About Reports.