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P6 Project Baseline Issue

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WI Planning
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I have recently started a new role, and there are several issues with systems that i am trying to get to the bottom of them is the Project Baseline functionality within P6.

When a baseline is taken and assigned as the project baseline, the planned activity Start / Finish dates for activities not yet started are reflected in the Baseline Project Start / Baseline Project Finish columns, as you would expect.  

However for activities in progress or complete, these Baseline Project Start / Finish columns become populated with spurious dates, and the planned dates start to get populated against some of the other baseline date columns.

For example:

  1. Activity not started –No issue.  Baseline Project S/F dates align with planned dates, and remain static.
  2. Activity in progress -  Activity actual start date is reflected in BL Project Actual Start Column, Planned end date is reflected in BL Project Early Finish column.  BL Project Start / BL Project Finish dates populated with spurious dates
  3. Activity complete –Activity Actual start and actual finish dates reflected in BL Project Actual Start / BL Project Actual Finish Columns. BL Project Start / BL Project Finish dates populated with spurious dates.

In items 2 & 3 above, it appears that the BL Project Start date that goes against the activity is typically Actual Start + 1 week (but not always), and the BL Project Finish date equates to the Actual start plus the original activity duration.

This is not typically what I’m used to - BL Project Start /BL Project Finish dates are the ones reflective of planned dates irrelevant of the status of the activity.  Essentially means that i can;t baseline anything at the moment as my data is flying between 5 or 6 columns and as a result the gannt chart bar for baseline is useless.

Is this being cause by something in the P6 overall settings? I’ve had a look and there is nothing obvious to me to explain why this is happening!

Thanks :)


Zoltan Palffy
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thats is correct 

WI Planning
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Hi All

Thanks for the responses but i believe i have fixed the issue - this was down to the Earned Value Calculartion settings within P6 Admin menu.  

When calculating Earned Value Calculation from a baseline, i was configured to "Budgeted values with planned dates" which was populating my Baseline dates against the baseline early S/F / baseline actual S/F fields for in progress activities and giving me spurious dates in my main Project BL fields.  

I have since amended that setting to "Budgeted values with current dates" which uses the live activity dates at the point of baseline and populates the main BL Project Start / BL Project Finish fields with these dates.  The BL Actual S/F columns are populated only for activities this applies to at the time of Baseline.





Tom Boyle
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Alexandre's advice is on-point - Ron's paper is money.

Short answer - "Planned" dates in P6 are quite peculiar.

1. For any given project, Planned Dates = Early Dates, UNTIL an Actual Start is recorded.  Then Planned Dates are frozen at the values they held when an actual start was recorded.  This usage makes sense for a very specific workflow case - for all others it makes no sense at all.  In particular, one must be sure to record ALL progress before incrementing the Data Date.  While accepted as good practice, this is far from universal.

2. In the absence of an embedded Baseline schedule, the "Baseline" dates and bars are actually "Planned" dates and bars.

3. When an embedded Baseline schedule is present, the "Planned" dates from the Baseline are the ones that get used as "Baseline" dates - e.g. in Baseline bars.  This can cause problems if the Baseline includes some progress.

Most of these issues are removed by running a global change as part of the standard update process - replacing "planned" dates with the Actual or Early dates.

Good luck, tom

Alexandre Faulx-B...
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Hi Andy,

a few years ago, Ron Winter wrote the following paper about Dates fileds in P6; I suggest you read it carefully, you will find all the explanations you need.



Raymund de Laza
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Andy, I understand that a baseline when attached to an updated progress schedule will never and shall never be changed and remain intact accordingly. I suggest you check the default baseline setting in the project window. Either it is set to Project baseline or User baseline.