Lesson 14: Using Baselines - Microsoft Project 2016 Course | Universal Class

using baselines we've mentioned

baselines already in this course now it

is time to actually learn what a

baseline is and how to use it in project

by definition a baseline is the detailed

project against which actual work is

tracked it is kind of like detailed

plans for a new home before you ever

start to build it it tells you how your

house is going to look what supplies

you're going to need and gives you an

estimate of how much it is all going to

cost before any work is actually started

a baseline in project is saved in your

project file it exists alongside any

activity that goes on with your tasks a

baseline is helpful to you for several

reasons you can use your baseline and

the actual activity to explain delays or

going over budget it helps you track

when and where you want to go when you

started the project with where you're

actually going it also helps you see how

close to the schedule you are keeping

after you save a baseline and get some

activity going you get baseline and data

as well as baseline versus actual you

can save the baseline at any time by

going to the set baseline dialog box you

can find this in the project tab then

click on the set baseline button here in

the schedule group click on the drop

down arrow and then click on set

baseline now you can see this dialog box

now you can select the entire project or

just select tasks by clicking on a radio

box in the for section if you choose

selected tasks select how the baseline

rolls up or summarizes then click on OK

you can also clear and reset baselines

if plans costs or anything else related

to the project changes if you want to

clear the baseline for certain tasks

select them and then go to the project


then click on set baseline and then

click on clear baseline you'll then see

the clear baseline dialog box select if

you want to clear the baseline for the

entire project or selected tasks for

this example we're going to use selected

tasks because we've already said to

select those tasks if you want to clear

the baseline for the entire project you

simply wouldn't select tasks next from

the clear baseline list select the

baseline that you want to clear this

here is the one that we've just created

then click on OK interim plans are like

a mini baselines they only save the

timing information and not resource

assignments costs and so on and this is

only for tasks that have activity

tracked on them as well as baseline

start and finish dates for all tasks

that haven't yet started an interim plan

is a lot smaller of a file than a

baseline it is helpful to use to record

date changes but not overwrite the

original baseline cost data you save

interim plans using the same dialog box

that you used to set your baseline

however instead of checking a set

baseline you'll check set interim plan

next use the drop-down box here to

select the data to copy to the interim

plan then where you want to copy it into

select if you want to save the interim

plans for the entire project or selected

tasks if you choose to save for selected

tasks make sure you select how you want

to roll up the baselines click OK when

you're finished

you can also clear and reset interim

plans just as you did baselines if you

want to clear interim plans go to the

project tab select the downward arrow

for the set baseline button again then

click on clear baseline you'll then see

the clear baseline dialog box put a

checkmark to the left of clear interim

plan next from the clear interim plan

drop-down menu select the interim plan

that you want to clear select if you

want to clear the interim plan for the

entire project or for selected tasks

then click the ok' button when you're


sometimes even the best-laid plans go

awry maybe you are suddenly over budget

or you're going to miss a very important

deadline perhaps you have a basic idea

of what went wrong because you've been

managing every aspect and communicating

with everyone on your team but still you

need to be able to explain to the

powers-that-be what went wrong and

justify whatever occurred then you have

to fix it to save your project and maybe

even your job if you've kept interim

plans baselines and task notes then it

is going to be much easier to show where

things got off-track and explain exactly

what went wrong your interim plans and

baselines will show you where you got

off-track and why they'll also show

adjustments that you made to get past

major problems you'll also be able to

show your boss that you are managing

things all along and that the major

problem is not because of lack of

management to view your baseline and

interim plans go to the Gantt chart view

right click on the column heading area

of the she'd pane and select insert

column a new column is then inserted as

you can see you do not have to choose a

column from the drop down list instead

you can now name the column where it

says type column name you might choose

start 1 to 10 and finish 1 to 10 for an

interim plan or baseline 10 for a


you can repeat these steps for

additional columns that you want to add

your task notes should tell you about

the resources assigned to a task vendor

problems as well as late deliveries you

can also use these notes to show what

went wrong and to explain why here are

other things you can do to troubleshoot

and possibly fix problems in the project

resource leveling this can solve

conflicts with resources that may be

holding up progress on your project cut

costs you can sort tasks by cost

concentrate on the higher cost tasks and

trim things that are nice but you really

do not need delete tasks to save time

filter tasks by priority then trash low

priority ones that you might not need

review tasks timing sort by duration

with the longest tasks first you may be

able to save time this way review tasks

drivers with this you can review why the

timing for tasks is falling like it is

reasons could be dependencies and

constraints go to the View tab then

click the drop-down arrow besides the

sort button select an option from the

drop-down menu you might sort by start

date or cost for example if you want to

sort by additional criteria click sort

by at the bottom of this drop down menu

you'll then see this dialog box choose

the criteria in the sort by field here

choose if you want to sort by ascending

or descending add additional sort

criteria in the Venn by fields then

click on sort if you want to return to

your original sort order which was ID go

to the View tab and click sort by ID in

the sort drop-down menu we already

learned about filters in a previous

lesson when you are troubleshooting

filters can be extremely helpful to

pinpoint what's wrong and what you need

to fix remember you can find filters

under the View tab in the data group

click the downward arrow to view the

drop-down menu select an option to view

a filter to reset the filter click on

the drop down menu again and then click

on no filter

in this table here you will see a list

of different filters along with what

they display this should help you

isolate any problems much easier than if

you try to sort through all the

information at once by yourself for

example the critical filter displays

tasks that have to be completed on time

if you're going to make the final

deadline or the critical path

this is a continuation with more filters

and what they display