What is a project baseline and why is it important?

A project baseline is the body of project data upon which project activities are planned and controlled. The baseline defines the scope of the project and includes all project plan information plus approved changes. In general, a baseline would include all elements relating to project scope, schedule, budget and risk.

A baseline is essential for managing project change, as the whole scope of what is being developed, as well as the schedule and costs for project completion can be measured and used as a benchmark to evaluate change requests.

A baseline also enables the performing organization to evaluate actual results and ensure work completed aligns with what was scheduled and agreed to.

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