A baseline is a snapshot of your project at a specific milestone; it memorializes the go-forward business agreement between the project manager and the approving entity. Baselines are static archives. The changes you make to your project after you create your baseline do not affect the current baseline. You explicitly update a baseline to reflect changes to project scope or cost.
There are so many questions about baselines:
Learn all of this and more, including how to add and manage baselines in Microsoft Project integrated with CA Clarity PPM in today's featured article on the CA Clarity PPM Cookbook by Michael Richman, Lead Services Architect at CA Technologies.
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I am in love with this Clarity PPM Cookbook from day one. The PPM articles are so good, relevant, informative and get pushed right into my mobile on-the-go. Its awesome!!! You are all gonna love it i am sure. Try it for yourself:) - Georgy N. Joseph
When I click on the link for the article on baselines, I get a page error. Is this article still available somewhere or could it be sent to me? Very interested in reading about Clarity best practices for baselining.
CA Clarlty Cookbook is no longer there.
As Urmas pointed out, we have discontinued the CA PPM cookbook on Flipboard. In case it helps, you can check out the following topics on baselines available in the CA PPM documentation:
Create Project Baselines - CA PPM SaaS - 15.4.1 - CA Technologies Documentation
Microsoft Project (MSP) Project Integration with CA PPM - CA PPM SaaS - 15.4.1 - CA Technologies Documentation
Baseline Projects in Open Workbench - CA PPM SaaS - 15.4.1 - CA Technologies Documentation
In case we are able to retrieve the article from Mike Richman, will post it on this thread.
From a business perspective, think of a baseline as the formal business agreement between your company and you as project manager. Presumably, you present your plan for delivering the project and the company approves of your approach and agrees to funding. This can require getting sign-off from the project team, sponsor, manager, owner, PMO (if you have one), and other financial stakeholders.
Once your plan is officially approved, and before starting the project (generally before resources begin tracking their time to the project), you, the PMO, or the Oversight Committee will baseline your project.
The question of who has the permissions to create (and re-create) the baseline is a matter of your company business policy. From my perspective, the baseline is owned by the company and is used to measure progress against the agreed upon plan. Therefore, either the PMO or a Steering Committee should have the permissions to create baselines and not necessarily the project manager.
Behind the scenes, CA Clarity PPM stores the following data points in each baseline:
The application does not track actuals and ETC at the task level including independent tasks in a baseline. In addition, baselines do not track resource staffing on projects or resource assignments on projects and tasks.
After you set your baseline, CA Clarity PPM automatically begins tracking and displaying variances on several metrics to help you better manage and adjust your project as you move through the execution stage. At various stages of the project lifecycle, you can compare current data to one or more baselines to accomplish the following goals:
You can view these baseline variances in a variety of views, list pages, on the Clarity Gantt Chart, and in Open Workbench or Microsoft Project.
You can create a baseline in CA Clarity PPM or in one of the following two supported project scheduling tools:
You can create an unlimited number of baselines in CA Clarity PPM but only one baseline can be marked as the Plan of Record. Microsoft Project allows only up to 11 baselines at a time: the current baseline and up to 10 previous baselines.
For the specific steps to create a baseline and for the list of required permissions, see the CA Clarity PPM Project Management User Guide.
At times, your project’s scope may change significantly such that you are asked to create an updated baseline which includes the additional scope. Many companies re-baseline when the project budget changes by more than 10-15%.
Since the original baseline captures the original data, if you use CA Clarity PPM to update the original baseline you will overwrite the original data with the current data. So, if your plan shows baseline variances as yellow or red and you update your original baseline, those values now appear green because you reset the baseline to reflect your current plan.
Before updating an existing baseline, consider one of the following approaches:
A.) Selectively update the original plan, or B.) Create a new baseline and make it the plan of record
In this scenario, if the updated scope leads to a new phase, baseline only that phase.
Follow these steps:
This approach preserves the original baseline information for the balance of the plan and continues to report accurate baseline variances against the original baseline. All of the original metrics for the other phases continue to show their red/yellow/green status, and the newly selected baseline items are green.
In this scenario, you create a new baseline and mark it as the plan of record. This approach preserves the original baseline for historical reference and resets all baseline metrics to reflect the current plan. All metrics appear in green when you set the new baseline.
You can generate a baseline for a master/subproject construct. Associate the subprojects with the master project and then set the baseline from the master project. CA Clarity PPM sets a baseline for the master project and each of its subprojects. You can view the baseline aggregated up to the master project.
From the master project, calculate the Earned Value (EV). Be sure to update all of the relevant data necessary for calculating the EV. You will see the aggregated rollup from the subprojects up to their master project.
Let’s examine the considerations for baselines and EV at the master project level. For example, you have an existing master/subproject construct which was baselined a few months ago. You have been monitoring EV since that time. Now, the scope recently changed and you need to include an additional subproject in CA Clarity PPM.
The following example shows a sample project called RTC WS2. The project has been built and baselined on its own. Click the Update Earned Value button:
The RTC WS2 project is added to the master project and is now considered to be a subproject. The % Complete value of a task in WS2 is updated. The following graphic shows the master project Tasks tab before and after clicking the Update Earned Value button.
Our expectation is that the BCWP of RTC WS2 will be updated when the EV button is clicked. The following graphic shows the result after clicking the master project EV button. The BCWP value is updated in the master project. And, as expected, when we go into the RTC WS2 project, we also see this updated value:
You can create a baseline of a project in CA Clarity PPM or in Microsoft Project. The baseline is saved with the resource time-varying cost rate at the time you create a baseline revision.
You can encounter performance issues when opening a CA Clarity PPM project into Microsoft Project when the project has many baselines. As a best practice, to improve the open/save performance, open only the baseline of record. The Clarity Administrator can adjust this setting on the Administration menu. Under Project Management, click Settings and then select the Only Export Current Baselines When Opening Investments in a Scheduler check box.
CA Clarity PPM supports an unlimited number of baselines; however, Microsoft Project can only support up to 11 baselines. Multiple baselines are managed by saving each revision to baseline slots in the .mpp file. The information for the current revision is saved to the baseline slot. A previous baseline revision is saved to the baseline1 slot, and so on, up to baseline10.
When you open a project from CA Clarity PPM in Microsoft Project, up to 11 baseline revisions are sent in descending order by the last date modified. Information about each revision is saved to the .mpp file.
Only one baseline is the current baseline. The current revision is used to update the project plan baseline information. Any remaining baseline revisions are used to update other baseline slots (baseline1 through baseline10) for the project plan in the order they are received. If the project has baseline information in Microsoft Project but no matching revision information is received, that baseline is cleared. If no baseline revisions are sent, all baseline information in the .mpp file is cleared in Microsoft Project.
When you save the project to CA Clarity PPM, Schedule Connect checks each possible baseline slot in the project. The check begins with the baseline slot and ends with the baseline10 slot:
Note: If the .mpp file contains information for a revision whose matching baseline slot is empty, Schedule Connect sends the revision information to CA Clarity PPM. A delete flag is used to tell CA Clarity PPM to delete the baseline revision.
When you integrate CA Clarity PPM with Microsoft Project and create multiple baselines for a master project, a baseline (Baseline1) is created for the master project and its subprojects. When you save the master project back to CA Clarity PPM, the baseline information for the master includes the values from the subprojects.
For example, a master project has a task with five (5) hours of ETC, and its two subprojects have a task with ten (10) hours ETC each. When you save the project back to CA Clarity PPM, the master project baseline usage is 25 hours.
You can create a baseline in CA Clarity PPM and see the values appear in the Microsoft Project Gantt Chart. You can also create a baseline in Microsoft Project and see the values appear in CA Clarity PPM.
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Michael Richman has worked with CA Clarity PPM for the past 18 years. He is currently a Lead Services Architect often working directly on site with customers to solve challenging new business issues involving enterprise project and portfolio management.
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This entry was posted in CA Clarity PPM on August 12, 2014 by Damon (CA Technologies).