Monday, August 15, 2005

MS Project Schedule : Baseline Vs. Actuals

It’s a problem to the PMO or to the other stakeholders of the project that every project manager brings different project schedules every week since project schedules are frequently changing. When there is a new project schedule, its difficult to identify the time deviation from the original, unless you compare the current schedule with the very 1st project schedule of the project.

We all know that MS Project Server has fantastic features in schedule integration management . But Yes its a big application to install. And Installing and learning MS project server is a project itself.

As a solution, there is a pretty cool feature in MS Project 2003 pro where you can reflect the actual project schedule within your project baseline. (That’s the whole idea of using MS Project as a Tool/ Technique in Project Time management – schedule development)

What you got to do is.,

  1. Prepare your initial project plan using MS Project 2003.
  2. Save the Gantt chart as the Base Plan.
  3. Add the actual timing to your Activity list (It can be more or less than the scheduled time)
  4. Save the updates
  5. Once you view the report “Compare progress against baseline work”., you can see the deviation from the base schedule., The actual is marked in separate bars compared to the base activity duration.
  6. You can slect the Date of the status report., So you can get the schedule varience to any date you need to report the status of your project.

Note: Please do not misunderstand. “Project Plan” is not the Gantt Chart which you prepare using MS Project,. That’s only the activity schedule. (Defined, Sequenced, Duration allocated and Resources allocated)

Project Plan is a formal approved document used to execute the project. Basically the project plan includes the project Charter, Description of the Project Management strategy, Scope Statement, Performance Measurement baseline, WBS, project schedule, resources required and Skill levels required with supporting details and other management plans (such as risk, quality, cost, schedule management etc.) and open issues and pending discussions. Etc.

It’s a known mistake that we refer to the “Project schedule” as the “Project Plan”


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Cool blog, I had not come across before during my searches!
Carry on the good work!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered the fact that this might work another way? I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
like this in the past? Let me know your thoughts...

Anonymous said...


This is a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at

May I use part of the information from your post right above if I give a backlink back to this website?


Thushara Wijewardena, PMP, CSP on 10:30 PM said...

If you tell me exactly what your site is I will give you the authority !

Please email me




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