Whether you love it or hate it, a baseline target is an essential function for any project. There needs to be a starting point to measure progress against so that you can assess how well the project is going. In an article for Project Smart, Kenneth Darter explores how to most effectively establish a baseline.
Stay on Target
According to Darter, a schedule baseline target is the “set point in time that allows everyone involved in the project to look back and see the baseline.” There are some times when these goals will be worth gloating about, and other times you may want to pretend they got lost under a rug. Establishing a baseline for a project is something that should occur right at the beginning. Keep in mind that there will always be more information to gather, so waiting until you have all the knowledge is not practical.
After there is a baseline, you can then move onto measuring your progress. The project schedule should be continually updated and show when tasks are started or finished, as well as who is working on the projects. This information is crucial to the success for any project. As the project progresses, it will quickly become evident that the baseline does not continually align with the project. Things will fall out of sync, but that is okay. Take this information and ask yourself why this is happening and how you can prevent it in the future.
If at any time you believe the project needs to be changed or altered in some way, you must gather the consensus of the entire team. Anyone who is involved should understand why the schedule is being revised. The baseline will likely feel like a moving target, but that is common for most projects.
You can read the original article here: https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/hitting-a-moving-baseline-target.php