In a previous blog post, I went over how to create and maintain baselines in Primavera P6 Professional. Once you have a baseline created, it can be used to run comparisons from activity table columns, the P6 Visualizer, and even graphically on the Gantt Chart. If you are mostly interested in the variations of dates and durations between the baseline schedule and the current schedule, adding baseline bars to the Gantt chart can often be useful.
This article will outline the process of assigning baselines and adding baseline bars to the Gantt chart in Primavera P6 Professional. With the bars added, you can quickly view and compare the differences between the two projects to see whether your project is running ahead or behind schedule.
In order to compare baselines in any manner – whether through the columns or the Gantt chart – you will need to first assign baselines. By assigning baselines, you can choose which baseline or baselines to compare with the current project.
To assign baselines, select Project > Assign Baselines.
In the Assign Baselines window, there are sections for the Project, Project Baseline, and User specific Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary baselines.
- The Project section will display the current project – if you have multiple projects open, you will want to choose the project that you’ll be using for the comparison. This will represent the current dates that display in the Start and Finish columns and the default activity bars.
- The Project Baseline is essentially the “official baseline” for the project. It is generally a baseline that is established and approved by stakeholders at the beginning of the project. You can choose to compare your project with a project baseline, if desired. The Project Baseline, along with the three User Baselines, allows you to compare your current project with up to four different versions of the schedule.
- The User Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary sections allow you to compare three different user baselines. User baselines are considered “unofficial baselines” and are generally created after each weekly or monthly update period. These are the baselines that are used to measure schedule performance against the initial or current schedule.
In this example, I am simply going to be comparing my current, updated schedule with the first, initial baseline I created. Because I only need to compare my project with one baseline, I’m going to set the Project Baseline as <Current Project>. This will just keep the Project Baseline set to my open project. As for the User Baselines, I’ll set the Primary Baseline to Original Baseline – BL1, the initial baseline I created for the project.
With the baselines assigned, press Okay to continue.
ADDING THE BASELINE BARS TO THE GANTT CHART
Now that the baseline has been assigned, bars can be added to the Gantt Chart to represent those baseline dates. To do this, right click on the Gantt Chart and select Bars.
In the Bars window, all of the available bars will be listed in the top box. You can add additional bars here as well by selecting the Add button, but P6 actually provides Project, Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary bars by default. To have them display, check the Display box next to the desired bar. You can also adjust the appearance of the bar using the Bar Style section below.
Once you’ve set the bar to display, select OK to exit out of the window and save the bar settings.
Lauren Hecker is a Primavera P6 Professional Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Primavera P6 Fundamentals and Advanced courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!