What are Project Baselines?


A baseline is used to perform analysis to find current performance against to the expected level for a specific activity in established time-phase.

In Project Management, Baseline refers to the accepted and approved plans & their related documents. Project baselines are, generally, approved by project management team and those are used to measure and control of project activities.

Though baselines are outputs of planning stage, but they are referred and updated during executing & monitoring and controlling process groups.

Baselines give the project manager a best way to understand project progress (by analyzing baseline vs. actual) and forecast the project outcome.

Baselines are important input to number of project processes and outputs of many processes raise change request to these baselines.

Project baselines include, but are not limited to:

  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline
  • Scope baseline
  • Quality baseline

Baselines are prepared on triple constraints – Scope, Time, Cost (and Quality) – management areas. All the above are considered as components Project management plan. Often the scope, schedule, and cost baseline will be combined into a performance measurement baseline that is used as an overall project baseline against which project performance can be measured. The performance measurement baseline is used for earned value measurements.

Benchmark, Standard, Guideline and Baseline are different words that are used interchangeably in Management.