none
Save Baseline work without chaning Baseline schedule RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is it possible to save work to Baseline Work without changing my Baseline Start/Finish date?
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 4:11 PM

Answers

  • Mimi,

    I seriously doubt you will find "many" companies that do what you suggest. There are however companies that use Project for the scheduling, (including resource loading), and then dump that data into another application for earned value and financial processing. But the baseline is not set until the plan is resource loaded. The company I worked for did that and probably still does.

    The part I'm having trouble with is how can you have a valid schedule that "runs well" if it has no resources loaded. The idea of "runs well" becomes an artificial concept. Unloaded schedules get nothing done, they can only represent a concept. Without resource loading the critical element of effort is missing. Anyone can put together a pretty schedule that shows everything all rosy. However once that schedule is loaded with resources, the real task of project management comes into play.

    Don't misunderstand, I am a perfectionist but not a purist. I have worked with several users who wanted to use Project in very unconventional ways, but this is not one of them. However I sense I'm on a soapbox here and and further appeal to logic will fall on deaf ears.

    That being said, I suggested using another baseline field in my first response. Apparently MilesS211S has come to the same conclusion.

    John

    Friday, February 10, 2012 4:16 PM

All replies

  • Mimi, The best approach is to use a different baseline field. Your composite baseline data will be in two separate baseline fields but its quick and may be all you need. You could also try manually entering the desired values directly into the Baseline Work field. If that doesn't work, (I found that manual entry sometimes isn't recognized in baseline fields), I suppose a VBA approach would work. John
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 4:32 PM
  • Mimi,

    You can update an individual task's work to the original (already saved) baseline work field, without changing the baseline start and finish fields.  You would change the task type to fixed duration, then update the work field.  Once you have done that, you can save that task to the baseline you have already....but the question you want to ask is....why? 

    If the scenario is that the original planned work (already saved in the baseline field) has changed, then you would want to update that field, then update the baseline.  However, if you want to update the baseline with "actual" work, then this is not the proper method.

    Hope this has helped.


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 4:47 PM
  • My case scenario is I've already have schedules established. Now, I just get to the point that I want to start planning work. My schedule is already deviated from my baseline at the time when I just start planning work. So, if I save work to Baseline, I would not be able to track schedule deviation.
    Friday, February 10, 2012 2:15 AM
  • Mimi,

    How can you have a meaningful baseline if you haven't fully planned the project, or at least planned the first part (e.g. phase, quarter, etc.)? You indicate that you already have schedules established but yet haven't planned the work. That sounds to me like someone, (e.g. customer or upper management), is forcing the dates. Not a good approach, however that is generally how a top-down management driven schedule is set up. It's doomed to failure because it doesn't take into account what effort is really needed to complete the plan per the "driven" schedule. Am I off base? If so, please elaborate.

    John

    Friday, February 10, 2012 2:58 AM
  • I would be hard for me to describe the whole situation. But overall, we use MS Project to create schedules. Resource planning and workload is a second priority. I believe that many companies are like this. For any project schedules that are well-plan (have good schedules), then we can use it for resource planning. To me, it's like 2 step processes: 1)Do schedules and if it runs well then 2)Do resource planning.

    I'm sure that many users will ask the same questions about how to save Work without changing their Baseline Finish which they already maintained it for long time.

    Friday, February 10, 2012 4:04 AM
  • Mini

    Use one of the 10 other baseline fields.  You can then have the original baseline saved and the latest one.  To do this go to save the baseline but use the "interium baseline" rather than the main baseline.  This wills save your data in baselinestart1/baselinefinish1 etc rather than BaselineStart or BaselineFinish.  You can then compare your actual plan with the baseline1 data to understand how far you have come from the position when you started the project. 

    You are right in thinking that many companies operate in this less than perfect way - I would suggest that you have a word with your senior stakeholdes and ask to re-baseline the plan formally now that the scope, activities and budget is better understood :)

    Regards

    Miles

    Friday, February 10, 2012 8:00 AM
  • Mimi,

    I seriously doubt you will find "many" companies that do what you suggest. There are however companies that use Project for the scheduling, (including resource loading), and then dump that data into another application for earned value and financial processing. But the baseline is not set until the plan is resource loaded. The company I worked for did that and probably still does.

    The part I'm having trouble with is how can you have a valid schedule that "runs well" if it has no resources loaded. The idea of "runs well" becomes an artificial concept. Unloaded schedules get nothing done, they can only represent a concept. Without resource loading the critical element of effort is missing. Anyone can put together a pretty schedule that shows everything all rosy. However once that schedule is loaded with resources, the real task of project management comes into play.

    Don't misunderstand, I am a perfectionist but not a purist. I have worked with several users who wanted to use Project in very unconventional ways, but this is not one of them. However I sense I'm on a soapbox here and and further appeal to logic will fall on deaf ears.

    That being said, I suggested using another baseline field in my first response. Apparently MilesS211S has come to the same conclusion.

    John

    Friday, February 10, 2012 4:16 PM
  • Mimi,

    I am with John on this one.  Your company is not doing "project management", if the methodology you describe is how projects get planned and executed.  As a consultant, I have witnessed many companies do things with Project that they should never be doing.  When it fails, they blame Microsoft and the world of PM in general. 

    I have also witnessed a few companies do what your are describing, which I call crisis management, and they wonder why their employees leave for different companies that have better processes and actually do project management.  Unlike John, I am a purist but not a perfectionist.  The basic processes of PM work well when they are applied properly, if the organization gets out of the way.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    My two cents....Good luck...


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    Friday, February 10, 2012 5:31 PM
  • I agree with you all. But reality is different. Many people only know MS Project as a scheduling tool. Same as how I knew MS Project at the first time. Anyway, I think using Baseline 1 will work fine. Thank you, all.

    Friday, February 10, 2012 7:58 PM
  • Mimi,

    I sympathize with the position your company has put you in. It might be helpful to show this thread to your management. Education can be a powerful tool.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    John

    Friday, February 10, 2012 8:03 PM