What is a Schedule Baseline?
A schedule baseline (sometimes referred to as a target baseline) is the original approved project schedule, which is agreed by project stakeholders before the project starts. It does not change. It is a fixed measure which is used as a planning yard mark against which the progress on the actual project schedule can be measured.
What is the purpose of Schedule Baseline?
A schedule baseline will normally include the expected time scale for delivery of the final project outcomes, plus related information such as estimated costs and estimated use of resources. It is important to form the baseline schedule as accurately as possible so that it is a reliable comparative measure.
Once the schedule has been created, it must be agreed by vested stakeholders, and then effectively frozen — meaning that it cannot be subsequently changed. It is important to create the schedule early into the project, so that estimated timescales and resource use are fully understood by all interested parties.
A schedule baseline may be referred to at any time during a project’s delivery, but it is especially useful to refer to it whenever the current project schedule is being updated. This will help to highlight variances in cost, resource usage and expected time frames. Tracking these changes is an important part of project management, as it allows the manager to understand how the project is progressing.
Where does the Schedule Baseline fit in the management of Project timelines?
When a project starts, the baseline schedule is the same as the actual schedule. But as circumstances eventuate, the actual schedule may deviate from the schedule baseline due to factors such as unforeseen risks eventuating, changes to project scope, and other changes outside the control of the Project Manager. The actual schedule responds dynamically to those factors affecting the project. The gap between it and the schedule baseline provides a measure of how much the project is ahead of or behind the originally planned schedule. If the variation is substantial, remedial action is needed.
What are the components or elements of Schedule Baseline?
A schedule baseline will normally include information such as estimated costs, estimated usage of resources and an expected time scale for delivery of the final outcome and any other expected deliverables.
Where can I find more information about Emergency Incident Procedures?
To find out more information about schedule baselines, view (from page 10 onwards):