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Project Baselines

This article explains how project baselines work in ResourceFirst, what happens when a baseline is captured, and what rights are required to save baselines, along with step by step instructions for capturing baselines.


The basic principle of baselining is to capture, at various points during the life of the project, predictions and forecasts about schedule, costs, level of effort, and results and benefits.

The plan captured at one of those points can be considered the “contract” or plan of record (POR) among executives, functional management, and the project team as to funding and resources supplied and the outcome to be expected.

The comprehensive historical data set enables analysis of process compliance and of project and organization performance against plans. This provides the basis for continuous process improvement.

Rights Required for Baselines

The user must have the Baseline right to submit any baselines and project node edit rights (P2 or above), or project manager rights (P1) to the target project.

In most cases baseline rights should be reserved to portfolio managers and portfolio administrators. Baselining is a critical element in the management and oversight of operations. Baseline naming conventions, frequency, and scope are typically outside the scope of project manager responsibility.

What happens when a baseline is captured

When a project baseline is captured, all specified values are copied from the database source tables to a separate set of tables in the database (PDWBaseline for current forecast and PDWBaselineHistory for historical baselines).

I.e. ALL data related to the project are captured, not just the data loaded in the current session.

WARNING: These numbers do not change but are linked to PDWAssignments. Thus, if you delete assignments, it will also delete the related baseline data (plus Actuals data). This is why we recommend NOT deleting Assignments, but instead making them inactive. The same holds true for Projects and Resources.

The records/values optionally captured in a project baseline for a given project are:

All fields available on the Project Data page and all phase and milestone dates
All assignment rows from the labor Assignments page (Skill and Resource)
All assignment rows (if any) from the financial Assignments page

[Important Note: For labor and financial assignments, only period data values are captured. Assignment field values such as Effort State and UDFs are NOT captured. Those fields ARE captured in Snapshots. See Capturing Snapshots.]

The following baseline attributes are uniquely associated with the project baseline records:

a user specified baseline name (often a phase transition name)
baseline submit date
user name of the submitter

NOTE: If no period range is specified in the Baseline dialog, the labor demand data and the financial period forecast data include ALL periods with data, i.e., not constrained by the Get Data period range.

How To

From the Project Data page:

Step 1: Select the checkbox at the left of the row for projects to be baselined.

Step 2: Click the Baseline, Status & Scenario icon.

Step 3: Click the Submit Status menu.

Go to Step 4.

From the project workspace:

Step 1: Click the hamburger icon to open the project workspace options dialog.


Step 2: Click the Baseline button at the bottom of the workspace options dialog.

Note: If you do not see the Baseline button, you do not have sufficient rights to baseline the selected project.

Step 3: Go to Step 4.

From either page:

Step 4: Fill out the Baseline dialog and click the Baseline button.

Enter a meaningful baseline name, e.g. “Design Phase Exit”.

Select a baseline type from the Baseline Type drop down.

Check Private if you want to restrict access to the baseline. If unchecked, the baseline is “public”, meaning anyone who has rights can see the contents.

Check Official if this is a formal baseline.

Specify the period range for labor and financial assignments. If empty, values from all periods are captured.

Specify the record types to be captured in the baseline.

Forecast – labor assignments, skill and named resource
Financials – financial assignments
Status, Phases, Milestones – all project fields and phase/milestone dates and completion state
Check the Baseline Project Hierarchy checkbox if the project is a program with sub-projects and you want to capture the baseline for the entire branch from the selected project down.

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