A baseline is a copy, or snapshot, of project data at a given time. Because a baseline is a static representation of a project plan, it can be used as a benchmark against which to measure performance as a project progresses.
If you have the required privilege, you can create multiple baselines as needed to establish metrics throughout the project lifecycle. Typically, you would want to create an initial baseline once the project plan is approved, then you can create additional baselines according to your organization's requirements; for example, you might create new baselines at specific reporting intervals. The maximum number of baselines you can create for a project is determined by your Primavera administrator.
Although many baselines can be created for a project, at any given time, only two baselines can be used to display and compare data. One of these baselines is designated as the Project Baseline; the other is designated as the Primary Baseline.
If no baseline has been created for a project, the current project data is also used as the baseline data.
What is the Project Baseline?
As the name implies, each project can have only one Project Baseline specified. Designating this single metric for comparison enables all members of a team to have a shared and consistent set of data against which to evaluate project progress. Any user who has the required privilege can choose the baseline to be used as the Project Baseline and can change the selection if necessary throughout the course of a project. All users who have access to the Baselines page in the Projects section can see which baseline is currently being used as the Project Baseline.
In P6 Web Access, all pages that display summarized data display and compare data only against the Project Baseline. Examples of pages that display Project Baseline data include tabs in the Portfolios section and Project Performance portlets. The Project Baseline is also used for milestone status reporting and to determine which critical activities are listed as behind schedule in the Critical Activities Behind Schedule portlet.
On P6 Web Access pages that display live data, such as the Activities page, you can display data based on both the Project Baseline and the Primary Baseline.
What is a Primary Baseline?
The Primary Baseline feature enables all users who have access to the Baselines page to choose the baseline they want to use to evaluate project progress. This flexibility enables you to choose and apply the baselines that best meet your specific needs for project analysis.
On P6 Web Access pages that display live data, such as the Activities page, you can choose to display Primary Baseline data as well as Project Baseline data. In addition, for live data displays, you can specify a project-level setting that determines whether earned value data is calculated based on the current Primary Baseline or the current Project Baseline.
Tip: To specify the baseline used for earned value calculation, you must have the required privilege. However, if you have access to the Settings page of Projects > Details, you can view the current setting.