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How to create statis baseline start and finish date columns that won't change

8 replies [Last post]
Ross Jackson
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Hi, I have a plan which has actual start and finish date columns based on predecessors and successors. Since a project may run for a few years I wanted to add baseline and finish date columns so user can easily spot delays, shifts in timing. This shows easy, but haven't worked out how to do it. I tried just copy paste the actuals into the baseline columns. However they are then linked to the predecessors and successors and change along with the actuals. Is there a way just to copy the values as static dates, or a better way to do this? Please note I'm relatively new to project and couldn't find solution in online help/books.

Many thanks, Ross



Ellen Lehnert, Mi...
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I agree with many of the other postings, most of your problem is the lack of understanding of how MS Project thinks and functions. 

  1. The baseline is a copy of the original schedule.  You can see a comparison of the baseline v running schedule using the Tracking Gantt.  Once a baseline is set it is usually not changed unless there has been a change to project scope or the client agrees to the change.  Update baseline by task as needed.
  2. Enter actual values using either the tracking table, the work table, task usage, or resource usage.
  3. Set a status date Project --> project information (the work will re-schedule the day after this date)
  4. Re-schedule tasks based on the status date  Tools --> tracking -- Update Project
  5. View the differences (variance) on the Detail Gantt view.   This will show the differences (slippage) between planned schedule (baseline) and updated schedule as a result of the work that been accomplished. 

All versions of MSP work this way. 

Consider attending a high level MS Project class.  It will cut down on your learning curve and allow you to understand how MS Project works.  It is not an easy product to learn without help.

Ellen Lehnert, MS Project MVP, PMP


Raymund de Laza
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Copy the data into a User Defined Field (UDF)


Hope this will help.

Mohamed Youniss
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Dear Ross,

First, you have to put into consideration that the base line it self should not be updated. In that case, you have to creat a copy of the base line to start updating the same. in the updated schedule, you have the option in the primavera to maintain and assign a base line for this updated schedule, as an option in the primavera. after assigning the original base line as a base line for your current schedule you can then present the base line completely with your current schedule without any change, also as an option in the primavera, you can present a new column showing your original dates for the assigned base line (early and late dates..... as required).




M. Youniss

Mohd Shahimi Yang...
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Dear Ross,

If you have set the baseline(see advised from Donald). Then you must insert actual start and actual finish column for updating purpose. By doing this (do in tracking view so that you can see actual bar and baseline bar), you will find that when you manually change the date in the actual start/finish column, that date in the start/finish column(the baseline) will not changed.


Vijay Anbumani
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Joined: 23 Dec 2011
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Hi, Planners

    i am new to Planning planet and i like to share my wish for the topic of changing the Base line activity duration without changing the finish date is to find the Floats in the Baseline which may be changed without affecting the Baseline of  project.



Regards & Best wishes,

Vijay anbumani

mukunda y
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Dear, Roos


I think u have to understand, the baseline Columns, start & finish columns, Actual dates column,,, if u understand it s easy to work,...

John Greer
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Ross,  i agree with Donald that you should just save a baseline in MS Project.  I have experience in 2010 and earlier versions and the tool doesn't change the baseline unless you personally update the baseline.  if others have access to the file you may want to save a master copy just to be safe.

Donald Harrold
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Ross, depends on the version that you are using. On the versions up to 2007 follow the menu Tools > Tracking > Set Baseline. Your understanding of planning and MS Project seems quite basic? I suggest that you get one of Paul Harris's excellent books on planning with MS Project (available on Amazon). That should get you of to a pretty good start with planning concepts and using MS Project.