Updating a Baseline in Primavera P6
A customer recently asked about what to do when scope is added to an ongoing project. Their question: “After I enter the new activities, how can I set new baselines for those activities without affecting the baselines of the original activities?”
To review how a schedule is progressing, you need something to measure its achievement against. The baseline is a static copy of the schedule that functions like a ruler; it provides a stationary picture of the schedule in time from which you can measure progress.
To properly work, the baseline must not change, so once established and approved, a baseline should not change without proceeding through a formal change control process.
Invariably, what happens is after the baseline is set and approved, a minor addition to the project scope is authorized, e.g., an activity is added. This adjustment requires compliance with the control processes. Practically, however, how does one include this new activity in the baseline without changing the baselines of the original tasks?
This article demonstrates a quick tip on how to include an additional task on an existing baseline in Primavera P6.
Figure 1 displays a progressed schedule through February 11th and a scope change to include a new activity.
Observe in Figure 1 the New Activity W1132 that does not have its baseline fields (BL Project Start and BL Project Finish) populated. Also, there is no Gantt chart (yellow) baseline bar for the New Activity.
We want this New Activity included in the current baseline for the schedule—proceeding, we first check to see what baseline is assigned as the Project Baseline, Figure 2.
Note that the Project Baseline is ‘Wellmont Substation – B1’. We confirm the assignment of the Project Baseline because the two columns, BL Project Start and BL Project Finish, are Project Baseline variables.
Next, we choose Project | Maintain Baselines … and select the baseline ‘Wellmont Substation – B1’, Figure 3.
Then we click Update, Figure 3.
In the Update Baseline dialog box, Figure 4, we toggle on “Add new activities and activity data (except actuals),”
And we un-toggle “Update existing activities already in the baseline,” Figure 4. Then we click Update. The W1132 New Activity is then inserted into the Project Baseline ‘Wellmont Substation – B1.” Figure 5 displays the resulting schedule and baseline.
Confirm that the BL Project Start and BL Project Finish fields are populated for New Activity, and there is a yellow baseline bar for this task on the Gantt chart.
Schedulers should always follow the proper baseline change control process when updating an existing baseline to include scope change. When a baseline scope addition is approved and receives stakeholder sign-off, the Update Baseline tool in the P6 Professional Maintain Baselines dialog box is practical for including scope updates in the baseline.
Ten Six recommends you make changes to the baseline assigned to the Project Baseline, as this baseline has the full slate of variables available.