How To Baseline Your Project In Microsoft Project 2013

I hope you read my previous article, where I explained how to create Microsoft Projects and the basic steps to perform. Please see my first article and then continue here.

First of all, we all must know what Baselines are, what are they for, how to use them, and how many we should set.

My article will answer all the above question about Baselines. 

Baseline


A Baseline is essentially a snapshot of your project schedule. At the beginning of projects, when Project Manager has all the Tasks, the resource is assigned and the money is budgeted. Then he creates a baseline of data for his project so that he can measure its progress.

Remember, it's very important to set the Baseline at the outset, because once the risks become a reality and complexity happens to our project, we won’t be able to measure the changes back to their very beginning.

In Microsoft Project, Baseline is measured by five parameters, which are given below.

  1. Start dates
  2. Finish dates
  3. Durations
  4. Costs &
  5. Work

Setting a Baseline also allows us to review our project at a later date as a valuable resource for planning the next similar project.

How many times can we Baseline the project?

In Microsoft Project, we can Baseline up to 11 times throughout its duration. In fact, we can set more than 11 Baselines. You probably are asking how. 
Simple: Microsoft Project will let us clear Baseline. Now, let’s see it practically, Open Microsoft Project on the desktop and create a sample work program (Refer to first article).

In this article, I will take my previous project and do Baseline. This is my project named Articles, as shown below.


Steps

Click on Project Ribbon, as shown below.


Don’t call it as a menu, as we call it a Ribbon.

  1. Tasks
  2. Resource
  3. Report
  4. Project
  5. View
  6. Add-ins
  7. Team
  8. Format

All these are the Ribbons in Microsoft Project 2013.

Now, before you do the Baseline, add the Baseline. Start and Baseline Finish in the columns as shown below.

Right click on the column and select Insert column option, as shown below.


After you select insert column, Type Baseline Start, as shown below.


Similarly, add Baseline Finish column too and the screen looks as shown below.


You can see NA in those two date fields. Now Microsoft Project is finally ready for a Baseline.

Click Project Ribbon -> Set Baseline -> Set Baseline.


Now, the Window given below will popup. Click OK, as shown below.


Now, see some changes in Microsoft Project and you can see some dates in Baseline Start & Baseline Finish, as shown below.


Like this, we can set up Baseline up to 11 times.

Now, let's see how to clear Baseline.

Go to Project Ribbon and click on Set Baseline.


Select Clear Baseline, pop up Window appears on the screen.


Select the Baseline which you want to clear and then click OK. Now, the dates will be vanished from the work program, as shown below.


Hence, these are the steps to setup a Baseline in your Microsoft Project.

In the next article, I will show how to change the Timescale for Gantt charts in Microsoft Project.

I hope this article is helpful.