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I'm preparing a time phased budget - basically my project schedule with all resources and cost allocated. When its reviewed, I will need to baseline it for calculating variance (tracking) in future. So far so good in concept.

In order to make this plan happen, I assume I would need to have the detailed requirements gathered for proper estimation etc (assume a waterfall model for EVM). The question is does this project plan then contain information about work that has already been completed - such as requirement gathering/WBS etc.

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First as we all know that estimations are uncertain(Cone of Uncertainty). Second, detailed requirement may not available at the initial phase of project (It may be a artifact in plan itself and many new things or changes may arise while development).

Having said that, Baseline plan is an interim plan with initial estimate of project factors to track the changes. So it is not necessary that baseline project plan must contain information about work that has already been completed, but it may have those if few parts are done before the plan is declared and used as baseline.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further queries. Thanks.

  • so, is the baseline set after detailed req are available? Otherwise I see no point in setting the baseline because it can't really be used for tracking as it doesn't contain all the information. In a waterfall model, detailed req are available in the beginning, correct? – Alex J Nov 30 '14 at 21:00
  • In Waterfall model, detailed requirement gathering is a part of project plan itself as beginning phase and all detailed requirement would not be available in the beginning. And we can have interim plan for gathering detailed requirement (against set of features or WBS decided in the plan)....and we can set this interim approved plan as baseline. It make sense to have such baseline plan in place to track progress and deviations. – Praveen Prajapati Dec 1 '14 at 2:45
  • I'm not sure about setting the interim plan as baseline. Because this plan will have only the plan about gathering detailed req as the rest is only known after the req and gathered. So I think the real baseline, the one that will be used to measure project progress, will be after the req are gathered and work is scheduled. no? – Alex J Dec 1 '14 at 3:03
  • As you wrote "this plan will have only the plan about gathering detailed req"....It seems in current plan you have considered the tasks till requirement gathering only. Once requirement gathering is finished you will create another more realistic schedule to measure the progress further, and you would like to set that as baseline. It is also fine. – Praveen Prajapati Dec 1 '14 at 3:21
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You may create multiple baselines in Project using interim plans or by baselining selected tasks. Many organizations have specifications about when an initial baseline (initiation phase) is taken, and then when another baseline is saved - usually after requirements and stakeholder sign-off.

  • when you baseline selected tasks, the new baseline has the previous tasks and the new tasks, correct? then you do all your tracking based on the latest baseline. Is that how it is? If no changes to scope, usually no baseline is done I assume? – Alex J Dec 1 '14 at 0:25
  • or when you baselining only selected tasks, you are adding new tasks to the existing baseline vs a new one with old and new tasks? – Alex J Dec 1 '14 at 0:30
  • When you baseine only selected tasks and baseline is saved for only those tasks. If you have baselined other tasks the original baseline will not be overwritten. You'll get a fairly irritating message about "Baseline has already been saved" but you are simply adding to that baseline. In my experience significant scope changes is cause for negotiating a new baseline. Project allows up to 11 and you can have variance calculated off any of the 11. – JulieS Dec 2 '14 at 16:34

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