The Project Baseline – A Project Management Definition

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The project’s baseline is used to measure how performance deviates from the plan. Your performance measurement would only be meaningful if you had an accurate baseline.

A project’s baseline is defined as the original scope, cost and schedule. The project’s baseline must be completely defined and documented before the project execution and control activities can begin.

Once the project starts execution, the project’s baseline is put under change control to help you evaluate any further change and its impact on the project. No meaningful measurements can be made if the scope, cost and schedule are not under strict change control disciplines.

If any change is approved then your new baseline is redefined as the original plan plus the approved change. It is a good idea to keep records that show how the plan has progressed and changed over time.

Frequent requests for changes to the project requirements may indicate that there was an incomplete initial requirements analysis or the lack of meaningful communication with users and customers early in the project initiation phase.

Moises Ortiz is a project manager with strong experience in the IT field. He’s been working for many multinational corporations leading IT projects and helping them align their IT strategy to the overall business goals.

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