How to set and view multiple baselines in Primavera P6

Mega infrastructure projects like oil and gas usually have years of duration. Subsequently, there’s a lot of uncertainty if the project would exactly follow the planned schedule or cash flows, due to longer periods of time. As a planning engineer you’d be held questionable for any project risks or delays. That’s why it’s essential to have a well planned schedule beforehand to monitor your project’s performance. Baselines help us tackle all these issues.

In this article, which is a part of our PRIMAVERA P6 PLANNING AND SCHEDULING COURSE you’d learn how to set baseline in Primavera P6.

Table of Contents

What is a Baseline?

A baseline plays a key role in tracking and monitoring your project; what the current performance is as compared to what should be. A baseline in a project (In Primavera P6 you can set up to 11 baselines), is like a snapshot of project schedule and other all data in it like cost etc. which after start of execution can be used to compare current values with what you originally had planned.What can be done using project baselines? And what’s the point of having more than one?

why have more than one baseline ?

Having more than one baselines is useful in several situations. Assume you incorporate a significant change request in the project schedule. Now, if you have saved original baselines, you can answer stakeholders why you deviated from planned time and cost. Moreover, you’d be able to compare schedule performance with change requests in baselines.

Now consider another instance: Project stakeholders like the government could potentially alter the scope of the project, or may be the project is halted altogether due to finances. In this case original baseline would be invalid so you’d have to introduce a new baseline which truly reflects the revised schedule.

Having more than one baselines would also help you see changes happening with time. For example, if a project is going behind schedule, you can keep one baseline of the original plan and one for the recovery plan. This way tracking variances would help you understand if the recovery plan is really working

How to set a Baseline?

Here’s a simple step by step procedure to set a baseline:

  1. Open your Project in Primavera P6 and Go to the Project tab’s Assign Baselines option. The Set Baseline dialog box will open

2. In the “Primary Baseline” drop-down menu, save the very first baseline by selecting current project.

 

3. Click OK. Primavera P6 stores the current values for start, finish, duration, work, and cost in the corresponding fields, such as Baseline1 Start, Baseline1 Finish, Baseline1 Duration, Baseline1 Work, and Baseline1 Cost.

4. Now repeat steps 1 through 3 and save the original baseline now a second time, but this time save it as Secondary Baseline.

Having done the above steps, if you open the Set Baseline option after saving at least one baseline, the “Set baseline” drop-down list will show the latest saved date for the baseline in this format “(last saved on mm/dd/yy)” attached to the end of baseline name.

NOTE: If you set a baseline by a name that has already been taken, Primavera P6 warns you that the baseline has already been used and gives you an option to overwrite it.

 

How to set Multiple Baselines?

It’s advised to save a duplicate version of the original baseline for later use if you’re going to have multiple baselines. After setting the first baseline, you can now set multiple baselines following the steps below:

  1. Open your Project in Primavera P6 and Go to the Project tab’s Assign Baselines option. The Set Baseline dialog box will open.
  2. In the “Primary Baseline” drop-down menu, save the very first baseline by selecting current project.
  3. This way, The Variance fields like Start Variance (SV) and Cost Variance (CV) show the variances between project current values and for the most recent baseline.

It’s essentially the same steps as above, with the difference being that you’d see previous saved baselines in dropdown menu.

Viewing Multiple Baselines

To see all of your saved baselines click on maintain baseline in the project tab and this dialogue box will open as shown in image below. Here you can see all the baselines saved

In the project monitoring phase, viewing the baseline with current project’s progress is best experienced in the Gantt chart. Gantt Chart shows you multiple bars for each activity, showing baseline as well as current project. As you can see in the image attached yellow is the baseline whilst green are the current activities.

We can also show multiple baselines all at once as in the image attached. Just select your primary, secondary or all baselines to view them on the Gantt chart simultaneously.

Want to know more tips about Primavera P6? Watch here

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Waqas Ahmad

Waqas Ahmad

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