Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6

Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6
Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6

Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6

A schedule baseline (also known as baseline schedule) is one of the most important project management document which is created before the project starts. It is also known as the “Target Schedule” – a frozen version of the project schedule. A schedule baseline is a formal document which can only be changed through formal change procedures. Primavera P6 Baseline feature enables to create and assign a baseline schedule to the current schedule in order to control and report the performance of the project. In this article we will review the schedule baseline, project baseline and user baseline terms and demonstrate how to create a baseline schedule in Primavera P6.

Schedule Baseline

Time management is the discipline of planning and controlling the duration of a project. Without an efficient time management process, projects can not be completed on time. Basically, time management consists of four steps: Defining the activities, Sequencing the activities, estimating activity resources and creating and controlling the project schedule.

According to the PMBOK Guide, Schedule Baseline is the approved version of the schedule model by which performance of the project will be measured.  Can only be changed through formal change control procedures.[1]


During the initial planning phase, activities, Work Breakdown Structure and activity durations are determined, relationships are inserted and the project is scheduled in Primavera P6. After that, making a schedule baseline of the project phase comes. The schedule baseline is directly related with the original schedule which enables to track the project performance by making comparisons between the planned and the actual dates, costs , resources and other important project information.

Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6

 

Before to demonstrate how to create and add a baseline in Primavera P6, let’s analyze the differences between the Current Project, Project Baseline and User Baselines.

Current Project : Current project is the updated schedule. Activities show the current status of the project and they are editable.

Project Baseline: Project Baseline is the approved copy of the project schedule.

User Baselines  : User baselines are the unofficial copies of the project schedule. They can be used internally to track and report the project performance for short term and long term targets.

Project Baseline




A baseline is a complete copy of the project. It can be created by using the Mantain Baselines window. In order to open the Mantain Baselines window, select Project | Mantain Baselines from the main drop down menu at the top of the screen. This will display the Mantain Baselines window as shown in the Figure 1.

Figure 1 Create Baseline
Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6- Figure 1 Create Baseline

Click add and save a copy of the current project as a new baseline. This is a project baseline so select the baseline type as the “Customer Sign-off” baseline as shown in the Figure 2.

Figure 2 Customer Sign-Off Baseline
Schedule Baseline and User Baselines in Primavera P6- Figure 2 Customer Sign-Off Baseline

Now the baseline is created. Now we will assign this baseline to the project. Select Project | Assign Baselines from the main drop down menu at the top of the screen. This will display the Assign Baselines window. Select the newly created baseline as the “Project Baseline”. as shown in the Figure 3.

Figure 3 Assign Project Baseline
Primavera P6- Figure 3 Assign Project Baseline

User Baselines

User baselines can be used to track the performance of the project as the project progressed. Schedule and Cost performance can be monitored by the help of the user baselines periodically.

Let’s assume that your project has started and 2 months have been passed. You can update your schedule and create a copy of the updated schedule and assign it as a user defined baseline. You can compare the target of your schedule at the beginning and the target of your schedule after two months by the help of this created user baseline.


 

In order to create a user baseline, open the Mantain Baselines window and create a new baseline which is the copy of the updated workschedule. Then assign it as a “User Baseline” as shown in the Figure 4.

Figure 4 User Baseline
Figure 4 User Baseline

Add the BL Project Start, BL Project Finish, BL1 Start and BL1 Finish to see the project baseline and user baseline start and finish dates as shown in the Figure 5.

Figure 5 Baseline Dates
Figure 5 Baseline Dates

Project Baseline and User Baseline dates are shown in the Figure 5. It is possible to define specific bars for both project baseline and user baseline in the Gantt View.

Summary




It is possible to assign up to three user baselines and one project baseline for a project in Primavera P6. In brief, project baseline is the approved frozen version of the project schedule, current project is the updated schedule which shows the current status of the activities and the user baselines are unofficial copies used to track and report the project performance for particular targets. Primavera P6 Baseline feature is useful to make the comparison of the planned and the actual performance of the project. In addition to that unlimited number of baselines can be created and four of these baselines can be assigned to a schedule in Primavera P6.

External References

[1] 5th Edition PMBOK® Guide: Chapter 6: Process 6.6 Develop Schedule

See Also

 Primavera P6 Relationships

 Primavera P6 Resource Curves

 Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure

 Assigning Expenses in Primavera P6

 Primavera P6 Adding Activities and Activity Types

 Creating Four Week Look Ahead Schedule in P6

 Primavera P6 Activity Codes: Creating and Assigning

 Primavera P6 Resources: Creating and Assigning

2 COMMENTS

  1. Τhiѕ is the peгfect web site for everyone who wantts to understand this topic.
    Y᧐u know a whoⅼe lot its allmost hard to argue with you (not that
    I rally will need to…HaHa). You definiutely put a frfesh spin on a topic which has been discussed for a long time.

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  2. Hi,
    a very interesting definition of Project / User baselines!
    the problem is: P6 does not display by default the Project Baseline bars in the Gantt Chart, only the User Baseline;
    P6 is using the Project Baseline mainly in the EVA calculations and S-Curve drawings, and optionally the Progress Line

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