Baseline is the value or condition against which all future measurements will be compared. The baseline is a point of reference.
Project baselines include, but are not limited to:
- Schedule baseline
- Cost baseline
- Scope baseline
- Quality baseline
A baseline is a fixed schedule, which represents the standard that is used to measure the performance of the project. Every time a change to the scope of the project is approved, the schedule should be adjusted and a new revision of the baseline should be used instead.
Many project management software packages have a feature, which allows the project manager to maintain a baseline schedule and track revisions to it. 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.